A tale of hazards: Ingenium’s industrial collections move


  • Skye Marshall Ingenium - Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Jacqueline Riddle Ingenium - Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2176-4387




Collections move, Asbestos, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Mercury, Radioactive, Hazardous collections


In 2018, Ingenium began a large-scale collections move, consolidating artefacts from four rental warehouses into a new purpose built storage facility. Collection hazards were assessed, prioritised and treated according to Ingenium’s comprehensive Collection Risk Management Program (CRMP), placing health and safety at the forefront of collections care. This paper will present hazard assessment and mitigation in one warehouse, the Building 2421 Reserve Collection, showing the challenges overcome to move a large industrial collection on a tight schedule and with limited staffing and resources. A selection of case studies will provide examples of hazard mitigation in artefacts containing asbestos, radioactivity, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury. The case studies demonstrate how simple solutions and triage treatments were implemented by conservators and specialised contractors in order to mitigate collection hazards during the move project. The Building 2421 Reserve Collection move was completed in December 2021 and the full collections move was completed in August 2022.


Download data is not yet available.


King, D., ‘History of asbestos’ (2022-12-20), in Asbestos.com, The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com, https://www.asbestos.com/asbestos/history/ (accessed 2023-01-10).

‘The Government of Canada takes measures to ban asbestos and asbestos‑containing products’, in Environment and Climate Change Canada, Government of Canada, https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/news/2018/10/the-government-of-canada-takes-measures-to-ban-asbestos-and-asbestoscontaining-products.html (accessed 2023-01-10).

‘Asbestos - health effects’ (2021-04-07), in OSH Answers Fact Sheets, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Government of Canada, https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/asbestos/effects.html (accessed 2023-01-10).

Holzer, C., ‘Asbestos containing objects in museum collections: the conservation of an asbestos suit in the Technical Museum Vienna, Austria’, in Student Posters Congress The Decorative, International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works,Vienna (2012), https://www.iiconservation.org/congress/sites/iiconservation.org.congress/files/IIC%202012%20Vienna%20Congress/student-posters/student-poster-518.pdf (accessed 2023-01-10).

‘O. Reg. 278/05: designated substance - asbestos on construction projects and in buildings and repair operations’, in Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1, https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/050278 (accessed 2023-01-12).

‘Childers® CP-240 CHIL-LOCK Asbestos Removal Agent/Post Removal Sealer’, in Foster Childers, https://fosterproducts.com/product/foster-cp-240/ (accessed 2023-01-10).

‘Childers® CP-211 CHIL-BRIDGE™ Bridging Encasement/Encapsulant Coating’, in Foster Childers, https://fosterproducts.com/product/foster-cp-211/ (accessed 2023-01-10).

‘Asbestos - control strategies for workplaces’ (2021-04-27), in OSH Answers Fact Sheets, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Government of Canada, https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/asbestos/control.html (accessed 2023-01-10).

‘Health effects of radiation’ (2021-08-06), in Radiation and Your Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/health.html (accessed 2023-01-10).

‘Radiation basics’ (2022-06-24), in Radiation Protection, United States Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/radiation/radiation-basics (accessed 2023-01-10).

‘Protecting Yourself from Radiation’ (2022- 07-05), in Radiation Protection, United States Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/radiation/protecting-yourself-radiation (accessed 2023-01-11).

‘Nuclear Safety and Control Act (S.C. 1997, c. 9)’ (2022-12-12), in Justice Laws Website, Government of Canada, https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/N-28.3/ (accessed 2023-01-12).

Warren, S., ‘Dealing with radiation hazards: the luminous dial project at the Canada Science and Technology Museum’, Journal of the Canadian Association for Conservation 35 (2010) 9-15, https://www.cac-accr.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Vol35_doc2.pdf (accessed 2023-01-10).

‘Radiation doses’ (2020-12-22), in Radiation, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Government of Canada, https://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/resources/radiation/introduction-to-radiation/radiation-doses.cfm (accessed 2023-01-10).

‘Learn about polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)’ (2022-06-05), in Polychlorinated Biphenyls, United States Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/pcbs/learn-about-polychlorinated-biphenyls-pcbs (accessed 2023-01-10).

‘The 12 initial POPs under the Stockholm Convention’, in Stockholm Convention, United Nations Environment Programme, http://www.pops.int/TheConvention/ThePOPs/The12InitialPOPs/tabid/296/Default.aspx (accessed 2023-01-10).

Covaci, A.; Kawaki, P.; Indekeu, C.; Schepens, P.; Neels, H., ‘Highly chlorinated toxic contaminants in pesticide-treated wooden art objects’, Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health 61(6) (2006) 245-248, https://doi.org/10.3200/AEOH.61.6.245-248.

Riddle, J.; Marshall, S., ‘“Don’t you know that you’re toxic?”: Identification and hazard mitigation of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during a large-scale collections move’, oral presentation, Canadian Association for Conservation Annual Meeting, Hamilton, Ontario, 26-28 May 2022.

‘PCB Regulations (SOR 2008-273)’ (2023-01-03), in Justice Laws Website, Government of Canada, https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/sor-2008-273/index.html (accessed 2023-01-11).

Hoover, E.; Cook, K.; Plain, R.; Sanchez, K.;Waghiyi, V.; Miller, P.; Default, R.; Sislin, C.; Carpenter, D., ‘Indigenous Peoples of North America: Environmental Exposures and Reproductive Justice’, in Environmental Health Perspectives 120(12) (2012) 1645-1649, https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/pdf/10.1289/ehp.1205422 (accessed 2023-01-11).

Protocol for Testing and Sampling at PCB Storage Sites in Ontario, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Queen’s Printer for Ontario (2000), https://clu-in.org/download/contaminantfocus/pcb/protocol-for-sampling-ontario-4049e.pdf (accessed 2023-01-11).

‘Method 8082A: Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) by Gas Chromatography’, United States Environmental Protection Agency (2007) https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2015-12/documents/8082a.pdf (accessed 2023-01-11).

‘Mercury and health’ (31-03-2017), in Fact Sheets, World Health Organisation, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mercury-and-health (accessed 20-01-2023).

‘Health effects of exposure to Mercury’ (2022-04-14), in Mercury, United States Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov/mercury/health-effects-exposures-mercury (accessed 2023-01-11).

Goodall, R. A.; Measday, D. ‘Measuring and mitigating mercury vapour in the collection cabinets at Museums Victoria’, AICCM Bulletin 41(2) (2020) 140-151, https://doi.org/10.1080/10344233.2020.1870301.

Strahan, D.; Tsukada, M., ‘Measuring mercury emissions from cinnabar lacquer objects’, Studies in Conservation 61(3) (2016) 166-172, https://doi.org/10.1080/00393630.2016.1227048.

.Remediation of PCB hazards in the tape recorder-player: a) before removal of PCB (Pyranol-branded) capacitor, showing black melting potting material; b) after removal of PCB capacitor




How to Cite

Marshall, S., & Riddle, J. (2023). A tale of hazards: Ingenium’s industrial collections move. Conservar Património, 44, 15–29. https://doi.org/10.14568/cp29217