Urban air pollutants and their micro effects on medieval stained glass windows
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Microchemical journal. - New York
, p. 508-513
University of Antwerp
Levels of urban gaseous and particulate pollutants were investigated in the Cathedral of Cologne, Germany in the framework of the EU-project VIDRIO. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of a protective double glazing system on the preservation of ancient stained glass windows by sampling at protected and unprotected windows (indoors, in the interspace and outdoor of the Cathedral). The interspace between the ancient stained glass window and the protective glazing is flushed in the Cathedral by indoor air, hence isolating the historic glass from the outdoor air and exposing it to indoor air on both sides of the glass panels. Concentrations of aggressive gaseous pollutants such as NO2, SO2, O3 and CO2 as well as elemental concentrations of bulk particles and relative abundances of single particles were surveyed at all sampling locations. Elemental concentrations in bulk particulate matter were found to be significantly lower inside the Cathedral in comparison to the outdoor air. This result is advantageous for the stained glass windows. Single particle analysis of the samples from Cologne showed also soil dust and organic particles as well as sulphates and nitrates, from which the latter two compounds are dangerous for the stained glass windows. On the base of the obtained results, it can be concluded that the protective glazing system in the Cathedral of Cologne can be considered as predominantly advantageous from both the gases' point of view (except for NO2-candles burning) and from the particles' point of view.