NO CHLORINE BLEACH!  Chlorine eats polyester tapes.  This is one of the
reasons that wet/dirty tapes are never rinsed in tap water that contains
chlorine.  Applying chlorinated tap water to tapes can cause irreversible
damage.  Chlorinated water is bad but Chlorine bleach is a killer.  We have
seen chlorine bleach applied to tapes by "recovery" firms decontaminating
buildings after a fire.  The tapes were destroyed.

Most mold remediation for tapes simply drives the mold into dormancy and
then wipes off the desiccated flowering heads (including the spores) from
the surfaces of the tape.  If you want to actually kill the mold on
polyester tape without harming the tape, try 111 Trichlor.  If you try this
method, be very careful.  The chemical is restricted, it will melt plastic
reels and cassettes (but not the tape) and it turns into a very nasty
neurotoxin if exposed to high heat.

Years ago, data firms used ozone to kill mold on tapes.  The procedure
appears to have worked but later testing showed that the ozone treatment did
weaken the tape structure.  They also used "proprietary" techniques and
refused to share them.

During the anthrax scare, some attempt was made to use radiation.  There
were no definitive reports that included how it works on mold, but there
were a few instances where they turned the intensity up so high that the
heat produced by the radiation melted some tapes.


Peter Brothers
[log in to unmask]

Tape restoration and disaster recovery since 1983

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ben Torre
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 5:06 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Mould &tape

At 02:42 PM 7/21/08, you wrote:
>The only places I've accepted mold from have been Bermuda, Canada, 
>and the U.S.A. I have refused Central-American mold as I feel it's 
>irresponsible to knowingly bring an "exotic" species into the area, 
>and I cannot insure that I've 100% killed the mold.

Common mold isn't terribly hard to kill, assuming you use chlorine 
bleach.  The gotcha with mold is the spores.  To kill mold spores, 
you need fire.

Re: South American mold-contaminated tapes... wise precaution, Richard.   

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