As air pollution in cities diminishes, or at least changes its nature, the air pollution generated within buildings becomes a relatively more serious cause of deterioration. The low rainfall indoors allows hy- groscopic salts to develop and remain, without ever being washed away. Nearly airtight enclosure brings the threat of damage by modern materi- als outgassing into the air around museum objects, as well as chemicals given o by self-destructive objects. The commonest indoor pollutants are acid gases from the decomposition of wood, cellulose acetate and cellulose nitrate. Acid attack requires a thin watery lm on the sur- face of the object to allow ionic processes to occur. Within showcases, there is competition between absorption on the object, absorption on a sacri cial absorber and ventilation out through imperfections in the seal.
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