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Anoxia is a treatment used in conservation to kill insects by way of oxygen deprivation.

Related Terms

Synonyms in English



French anoxie; hypoxie
Spanish anoxia; hypoxia
German hypoxie
Dutch hypoxie


In order to create an oxygen free environment, a vapor barrier film may be used. Then the sealed environment is purged with a non-oxygen gas, such as argon or nitrogen, and oxygen scavenger tablets are added to maintain the low oxygen concentrations (CAMEO). If oxygen levels are kept at or below 0.1%, all life stages of ten common museum insects can be killed in ten days (Daniel, et al., 1990).

Additional Information

Gilberg, M. "Inert Atmosphere Disinfestation of Museum Objects using Ageless Oxygen Scavenger", ICOM preprints, 9th Annual Meeting, Dresden (1990), p. 812-816.

Valentin, N. and Preusser, F. "Insect Control by Inert Gases in Museums, Archives and Libraries" Restaurator (1990) vol. 11., p. 22-23.


CAMEO: Conservation and Art Material Encyclopedia Online. “Anoxia.” Accessed from on March 29, 2015.

Daniel, V., Hanlon, G., and Mekawa, S. "Eradication of Insect Pests in Museums Using Nitrogen" in WAAC Newsletter (Sept. 1993), Vol. 15 (3), p. 15-19.

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