Journal Article

  • Adulterating Polypropylene Containers: Not a Clear and Shut Case
    Larkin, N. R.
    NatSCA News, Issue 22, pages 80 - 82

    Clear polyethylene and polypropylene containers with securely fitting lids provide not only usefully sturdy and stackable storage media for museum specimens but can also provide some buffering to changes in external environmental conditions. However, a range of containers used in museums analysed in the 1990s were found to be releasing volatile organic compounds, especially when new. Therefore to reduce the likelihood of adulteration, natural history specimens in particular should only be stored in containers that have had time to ‘off-gas’. It is recommended that the lidded Gratnell containers now used widely in museums should also be investigated for volatile organic compounds and that when empty they should be stored with their lids removed.