Anoxic disinfestation is a process whereby the combat against infestation by insects (one of the main causes of destruction of documents and works of art) is undertaken by asphyxia, through the use of completely innocuous gases such as nitrogen, argon or carbon dioxide.
The process is simple and is not toxic. It is based on the removal of atmospheric air and its replacement with nitrogen, argon or carbon dioxide. This method can be employed in a disinfestation chamber (an air-tight steel chamber in which the objects are placed) or in a bubble of plastic film wrapping the object (the process is extremely flexible and can be used with every kind of object, big or small).
This technique requires isolation of the documents and objects to be treated: the atmosphere inside is modified and several parameters are controlled, such as: oxygen/ carbon dioxide content, temperature, gas pressure and moisture).
Anoxic disinfestation chamber and anoxic bubble: owing to the nature of the biological cycles of the insects that attack the material of books and other substances found in the collections of libraries and in archives, the disinfestation operations have to be co-ordinated with the customer to determine the type of infestation of the documents.
Safety: the collections of museums, libraries and archives may be threatened by several pests, constituting a serious threat to their preservation. The method of pest control least prejudicial to the collections and to the personnel is carried out by means of modifying the atmosphere, an alternative to chemical control.
Anoxic disinfestation is a method that has no noxious effect on the items that are treated or on the operator. It is safe, ecological, non-toxic, non-flammable and non-chemical. It consists of wrapping the item to be treated in a special film and removing the oxygen inside. The oxygen is replaced by an inert gas, thus eradicating all insects no matter what their stage of development (egg, lava, pupa, adult, etc.).
This process is monitored by state-of-the-art equipment of extreme sensitivity and precision.
It does not modify the physical or chemical properties of the item treated, and its original form is retained, though freeing it from the action of the pests.