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In a message dated 7/15/2006 9:23:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
[log in to unmask] writes:

As oil has been around for millions of years, I think if it was possible
for a mould or bacterium to grow on it, such a beast would have evolved
long ago.
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There are millions of microbes that eat oil. After all, oil is just the 
remains of organisms that didn't get a chance to be eaten before they got buried. 

The seepage around the oil tanks in the basement of my 150 year old house 
grows fur in this hot, humid weather. I remember when the local highway 
department used to collect used crankcase oil to spread on the dirt roads in the dry 
summers. It didn't last very long, and the weeds grew the tallest along the 
roadsides.

A remarkable thing is the durability of shellac. Those insects were onto 
something. Only when mold is well established on record sleeves, and the records 
get very damp for a prolonged period, does the mold damage the grooves, and 
even then it appears to be the enzymes they produce, not the mold growing on the 
record itself.

Mike Csontos