This week I have the opportunity to attend the 12th International Congress of the Deterioration and Conservation of Stone at Columbia University (October 22-26, 2012). I’m excited to learn more about the research and conservation efforts that have been going on for the last four years since the last Congress. New research ideas are swirling in my head. The Congress is truly an international effort with participants from around the world. I will be posting updates this week with brief summaries of interesting papers.

For example, yesterday I was intrigued by Dick Livingston’s┬ápresentation on mass balance evidence for hydrochloric acid vapor attack on marble of the statue of Phoenicia. In his presentation he indicates that damage occurring from dry deposition of sulfur dioxide has decreased by more than 70% in recent years. However, while sulfur dioxide is dropping, other pollutants such as ozone are increasing. Changes in the air chemistry are becoming more important and leading to different decay mechanisms on stone. Livingston reports that organic acids such as acetic acid and others are becoming increasinglly important. This is followed by sea salt dechlorinization, as evidenced by mass balance problems when looking at run off studies. This all means that more research is needed into the interaction of organics and other air pollutants with stone materials.

Stay tuned…

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