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Re: Lerner on orion Castor oil impact on C14

On Fri, 24 Oct 1997 08:55:24 +0100, fc.dss@pop.teol.ku.dk writes:
>With regard to ms. Lerner's post:

   [... Snip ...]

>Prof. Karl Anker J=F8rgensen, of the biochemistry department in the Univ.
>of A(?)rhus (Denmark), tells me that the immersion times in the baths or-
>dinarily used to clean samples for C-14 would be insufficient to remove castor
>oil contamination, which is why we have asked the curator of the National
>Museum to experiment with such procedures.

   You will recall, Fred, I recoiled at the use of acids for
   "cleaning".  What I might have added was that the selection of
   cleansing solutions can be problematic since the cleaner may attach
   the sample as much as the contaminant.  IMO, since for C-14 the
   sample is almost to a certainty organic then basic washes would be
   inmdicated but above all their "detergent" ability and that they
   aren't an organic substance themselves.  

>Next, we are asking Dr. Rasmussen to make control tests by contaminating
>parchment samples of known date with both modern and ancient oils: this
>will provide controls on the nature and extent of various types of

   Ingenious and effective, providing you having accurate samples of
   both the parchment and the oils with useful certified dates.

   Now, let me repeat: tobacco smoke is a pervasive and rapidly
   accumulating contaminant.  I have never forgotten the wash water
   from my closet of clothes when I came home from the hospital (for
   another and unrelated reason) free of tobacco.  Just as bad are
   cooking fires and cooking fumes when oil is used both for fire and
   for frying.  I take for granted you helpless husbands never clean a
   kitchen stove ventilator filter for your cooks.  Remember too the
   wax of candles is the fuel for their illumination.  It's chock full
   of modern contamination.
>best regards,
>Fred Cryer
   I'm glad to see you're taking my warnings seriously.

Tom Simms