Category:Historic Building & Collection Hazards

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This page is intended as a portal to pull together information on hazards that may be commonly found in historic houses either as part of the building structure or collections contained within. The resources created here are a product of AIC's Health & Safety Committee, AIC's Collection Care Network (CCN), and other allied professionals.

Introductory Information on hazards

What are hazardous collection materials?

A material is considered hazardous if it has the potential to: cause injury, illness, or death; cause damage to or loss of equipment, property or collections; or inhibit operations. Hazards may be inherent and/or acquired.

Inherent hazards

Many collections are hazardous by nature or design. The hazard is often not apparent and may require specific knowledge, such as that of mineral or botanical collections. These include: toxic plants specimens, heavy metal based mineral specimens, radioactive minerals and chemical or medicinal sets

Acquired hazards

Collections can acquire hazardous properties through deterioration or damage resulting in materials becoming more toxic or unstable. Or they can become hazardous through purposeful conservation treatments or via environmental contaminants.

Hazards versus Risks

  • Hazard - Inherent condition of a material to cause harm.
  • Risk - probability that the hazard will cause harm and the degree to which it affects health systems.

For more on hazards and risk view the AIC Health & Safety committee's 2014 presentation Controlling Hazardous Collection Materials

Collections Hazards

Buildings Hazards

Pages in category "Historic Building & Collection Hazards"

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