Arsenic-based Pigments – Sola dosis facit venenum Cover Image
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Pigmenţii pe bază de arsenic – Sola dosis facit venenum
Arsenic-based Pigments – Sola dosis facit venenum

Author(s): Olivia Florena Nemeș, Constantin Măruţoiu, Ilina Udrea
Subject(s): Museology & Heritage Studies, Essay|Book Review |Scientific Life, Preservation, Scientific Life
Published by: Editura ACS
Keywords: arsenic pigments; degradation processes; toxicity; chemical risk; health; cultural heritage;

Summary/Abstract: Arsenic and its compounds – also known as the „king of poisons and the poison of kings” – were used until the 20th century as pigments and insecticides in various types of artwork, including wood panel paintings and murals. The objective of this paper is to describe these arsenic-based pigments and their main degradation products, as well as the chemical risk associated with working with these elements. A good knowledge of all these aspects is crucial to gaining an understanding not only of the chemical behaviour of arsenic compounds present in works of art, but also of the chemical risk cultural heritage workers are being exposed to. It is hoped this paper will highlight the complexity of the dangers involved with arsenic-based pigments, and this will alert those senior management figures in the fields of art and science – to take action in preventing cultural heritage workers being exposed to this chemical risk. A collaboration between these professional and managerial figures and cultural heritage workers, would ensure not only works of art are valued and saved, but also the health and lives of those who work in this field.

  • Issue Year: 1/2022
  • Issue No: 11
  • Page Range: 250-265
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Romanian