The REALM project has released results from the sixth round of tests conducted in a Battelle laboratory that determined how long SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) can remain active on five materials commonly used in furnishings, exhibits, and equipment found in museums, libraries, and archives.
The tests examined architectural glass, marble, countertop laminate, brass, and powder-coated steel. Samples of each material were inoculated with active virus, allowed to dry, and then placed in an environmentally controlled chamber with no outside light or air.
Results show that after two days, SARS-CoV-2 virus was no longer detectable on the brass and marble. After six days, virus was not detected on the glass, laminate, and powder-coated steel. (See Test 6 results.)
The REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) project is designed to generate scientific information to support the handling of core library, museum, and archival materials as these institutions resume operations and reopen to the public. As part of this research, the REALM project is studying how long the SARS-CoV-2 virus survives on common materials and methods to mitigate exposure. Test 6 focused on common building materials. Results from the previous five tests are available on the REALM website.
The materials in Test 6 included the following items:
Item Material type Use Glass Glass Windows, doors, display cases Marble Danby marble Flooring, counters, columns Laminate Laminate with particle board backing Countertops Brass 260 brass Fixtures, railings Powder-coated steel Powder-coated steel Lockers, shelving, book trucks, exhibit elements
The marble was provided by the National Park Service, the laminate was provided by Metropolitan New York Library Council, and the powder-coated steel was provided by the Library of Congress. The other materials were procured as samples from vendors.
All five materials in Test 6 are nonporous surfaces, where suitable liquid disinfection methods may promote a more rapid decontamination than the quarantine method. View the list of disinfectants and surface cleaners that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2.
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