FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 01, 2016

How that ‘old book smell’ could save priceless artifacts (video)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1, 2016 — Odor-detecting devices like Breathalyzers have been used for years to determine blood-alcohol levels in suspected drunk drivers. Now, researchers are using a similar method to sniff out the breakdown of art and artifacts. By tracking the chemicals in “old book smell” and other musuem odors, conservators can react quickly to preserve priceless art and artifacts at the first signs of degradation. In this Speaking of Chemistry, Sarah Everts explains how cultural-heritage science uses the chemistry of odors to save books, vintage jewelry, and even early Legos. Check out the video here:

Youtube ID: UYvaqwXANwg

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