Work safety in the archive

Cleaning of contaminated archival material

Work safety in the archive

Protective measures for human and archival material for handling microbially contaminated archival and library material.

Archival material, if it has been stored incorrectly, is often contaminated with biological agents such as mould.

During activities such as foliation and pagination, dry cleaning with rubber and latex sponges often considerably large amounts of dirt, dust, mould and small amounts of restorateTRBA 240d material may be released.

According to the TRBA 240 - (Protective measures for activities involving microbially contaminated archival materials - by BAuA (German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)) personal protection must be ensured even before product production.

In addition, this type of application poses a particular challenge to the technical equipment which is to be used, such as safety cabinets. Due to the restorative activities, the filters may be TRBA 240clogged up within a very short time with contaminated paper tears and dust. Frequent filter changes are the result. For a 2-filter system this implies the decontamination (e.g. with H2O2) before each filter replacement.

This means, that the maintenance of appliances with a 2-filter system are significantly more expensive as well as time-consuming, then devices with a 3-filter system! The additional price for a 3-filter system normal pays for itself after the second servicing interval.

Schutzkittel gemäß DIN EN 420Personal protective equipment such as protective gowns and nitrile protective gloves, which are certificated in accordance with EN 420, complete the personnel protection and at the same time prevent the cross-contamination onto other documents.

To protect the airways when working without using a safety cabinet, particle-filtering masks of category  FFP-2 or FFP-3 are recommended. The masks differ in their retaining capacity. A FFP-2 respirator mask, when worn correctly, can retain up to a max. of 92% (i.e. 8% of particles do pass through the mask). Whereas the retaining capacity of FFP-3 masks range from 98% - 99%.

Reinigung von kontaminiertem Archivgut



To keep the cleaning expenditure for the employee at the workplace as low as possible, work or prep mats should be used. These work mats possess a non-slip underlayer and thus offer a safe work surface.

The work mats are available in different sizes and finishes.


  • Safe cleaning of contaminated archival material
  • Work mats make cleaning of the safety cabinet easier
  • Cleaning of contaminated archival material
  • Protective gown in accordance to DIN EN 420 (personal protective equipment)
  • Technical measures in accordance to TRBA 240
  • Organisational measures in accordance to TRBA 240