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Assessment of the air quality ($NO_{2}$, $SO_{2}$, $O_{3}$ and particulate matter) in the Plantin-Moretus Museum/Print Room in Antwerp, Belgium, in different seasons of the year

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The Plantin-Moretus Museum/Print Room in Antwerp, Belgium, gathers one of the most precious collections of typographical material and old printed books in the world. Rich decorations of this former printing-house and the history of the building itself underline its uniqueness. The cultural heritage (CH) objects collected in the museum, in particular books and manuscripts are vulnerable to the atmospheric pollution and can be irreversibly damaged. To assess the air quality inside the museum, four consecutive sampling campaigns were performed in each season of the year. The gas monitoring of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3) was carried out outside the building, in galleries and in showcases by means of using diffusive samplers. The particulate matter (PM) was collected in bulk form and as single particles and then analysed with use of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) and electron probe micro-analyser (EPMA), respectively. The museum complex turned out to show good protection against gaseous pollutants, especially SO2 and O3. The concentrations of these pollutants were significantly reduced inside the building in comparison to the outdoor ones. Similar protective character of the museum complex was established in case of the coarse fraction of PM; however with some limitations. Single particle analysis showed that the relative abundance of carbon-rich particles inside the museum was greater than outside. Moreover, these particles contributed more to the fine fraction of PM than to the coarse fraction. Therefore, for better preservation of cultural heritage, special attention should be paid to the small particles and their distribution within the museum.
Tijdschrift: Microchemical journal
ISSN: 0026-265X
Volume: 102
Pagina's: 49 - 53
Jaar van publicatie:2012
CSS-citation score:2
Authors from:Higher Education