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  1. #11

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    Here is Florida where the state flower is mildew we have long used paraformaldehyde powder to fumigate such things as leather goods. It used to be sold in small cloth bags as DiGas. It has been off the market for some years thanks to our EPA. However, you should be able to get some from a chemical supply company. This is the same chamical that is used in high contrast developers to produce half-tone negatives. Paraformaldehyde slowly releases formaldehyde gas. Place the camera in a ziplock bag with a spoonful of the powder wrapped in a piece of cloth and leave it for a few days. All the fungus and the spores should be killed.

    For non-metallic objects such as books and leather goods take a tablespoon of copper sulfate crystals (bluestone is the common name) and dissolve it in a cup of water. Put the solution in a wide mouth jar. Take a cloth, an old wash cloth works very well and allow it to soak in the solution for an hour. Squeeze as much liquid out of the cloth as you can saving the liquid back into the jar. Save the jar and solution for later use. Allow the cloth to completely dry. Wipe the object with the dry cloth. This leaves an invisible coating of copper sulfate on the object and will not dicolor it. The copper ions with kill any fungus. When the cloth seems to be losing its effectiveness resoak it in the saved solution.

    Fungus can also be destroyed by exposure to UV light. Strong sunlight can be used but this may be a problem in Britain. Remember fungus loves dampness and the dark. Hope this helps.

    Jerry
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 03-27-2012 at 04:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

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  2. #12

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    Thanks for that very interesting information, Jerry. Paraformaldehyde looks a good prospect. I'll investigate further!

    Steve.
    Last edited by Grytpype; 03-28-2012 at 02:09 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grytpype View Post
    Thanks for that very interesting information, Jerry. Paraformaldehyde looks a good prospect. I'll investigate further!

    Steve.
    If you can't find paraformaldehyde then you can come get some free Formalin (formaldehyde solution) from me, (I'm close to the Shropshire border in Worcs).

    Ian

  4. #14

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    Best solution is a full immersion bath for several days in Formalin. Probably banned in some areas now. Don't get it on your skin and don't breathe the fumes.
    Then disassemble the camera for the parts you want to keep - chuck the rest. You may then need to consider the best method of preserving the various parts until you want to use them.
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  5. #15

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    I found an eBay seller offering the powder in 100gm quantities, though searches I've done suggest it needs heating to quite a high temperature (rather more than thymol) to carry out fumigation. I will need to do some more research - possibly it is effective with less heat if given more time.

    Maybe I should take you up on your generous offer, Ian. Would the formalin liquid work for fumigation at nearer room temperature?
    Last edited by Grytpype; 03-28-2012 at 04:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16

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    I believe Thymol Crystals were stopped being used for mold in books because in the long term it was thought to damage the paper of manuscripts ; not that it wasn't ineffective in killing mold. I have a Nikon F 135mm lens that had about 20 mm of mold in a corner when I bought it - in the interior , I cant get to it . I put it in a sealed box with said crystals and it has not altered one bit in 15 years !

  7. #17

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    I believe Thymol Crystals were stopped being used for mold in books because in the long term it was thought to damage the paper of manuscripts ; not that it wasn't ineffective in killing mold. I have a Nikon F 135mm lens that had about 20 mm of mold in a corner when I bought it - in the interior , I cant get to it . I put it in a sealed box with said crystals and it has not altered one bit in 15 years !

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grytpype View Post
    I found an eBay seller offering the powder in 100gm quantities, though searches I've done suggest it needs heating to quite a high temperature (rather more than thymol) to carry out fumigation. I will need to do some more research - possibly it is effective with less heat if given more time.

    Maybe I should take you up on your generous offer, Ian. Would the formalin liquid work for fumigation at nearer room temperature?
    Paraformaldehyde is a polymer of formaldehyde and releases the monomer at room temperature. You don't need to heat it. Exposure will take a few days but will work.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  9. #19

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    Shipping paraformaldehyde legally isn't easy.

    I used to fly with it (add water to get formalin solution for preserving specimens. Carrying paraformaldehyde is much less problematic than carrying formalin and beats shopping for formalin in country. In some countries, e.g., Paraguay, formalin is a controlled substance, one needs a prescription to buy it.). Stopped after I had visions of a customs officer finding my white powder and tasting or sniffing it.

    Old friend, now dead, once flew with a Nalgene bottle of formalin in a soft-sided suitcase. The airline's baggage smashers broke the bottle while loading checked bags. Flight cancelled, bomb scare, bomb-sniffing dogs rendered nose-dead, many many unpleasant repercussions.

  10. #20

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    Environmental agencies seem to over dramatise the danger of chemicals. If formaldehyde were as dangerous as some put on then medical students would be dropping dead after their first dissection class. Formaldehyde was one used to keep milk from spoiling.

    Treat all chemicals with respect and not fear.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 11-12-2012 at 04:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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