This study from The Getty Conservation Institute represents part of a series of research activities aimed at a better understanding of the origin and fate of air pollution within the built environment.
This is an important contribution to both the conservation community and the broader field of air quality science.
Most previous studies of air pollution in cultural institutions have focused on gases. Particles were ignored for many reasons: they seemed to be more easily removed by the building; gaseous air pollutants had been well studied by industry, and their effects on commercial products were heavily documented; and many particle types were considered chemically benign to almost all surfaces. Even carbon black, which is now known to pose enormous degradation risks to the optical and colour qualities of paintings and tapestries, is almost totally inert.