“Model for multi-pollutant impact and assessment of threshold levels for cultural heritage”

Project website:

Program Type: FP7 Fifth Framework Programme Key Action City of Tomorrow and Cultural Heritage within the Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development

Project details: The model for deterioration of materials developed in the MULTI- ASSESS project includes gaseous pollutants (sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and nitric acid), particulates and precipitation and separates the effect of dry and wet deposition on the deterioration process.

Also the model for soiling reflects the new pollution situation where particulate elemental carbon is no more dominating for the soiling of surfaces.

The main objectives of the MULTI-ASSESS project have been:

• To develop multi-pollutant deterioration and soiling models of wet and dry deposition of gases and particulates on materials used in objects of the European cultural heritage and to obtain dose response functions quantifying the effects as function of pollution and meteorological parameters.

• To use the dose-response functions for assessment of pollution tolerable levels and to recommend target levels to be implemented in the future development of EU Directives on urban air quality in order to minimise the pollution effects on historic and cultural objects.

• To demonstrate the usefulness of the approach by mapping areas exceeding tolerable levels in Europe. In order to include both the effects of particles and nitric acid among the environmental parameters measured at the ICP Materials test sties these parameters needs to be measured by practical and low cost methods. An important objective was thus

• To adapt and validate passive samplers for measuring atmospheric concentrations of nitric acid and particles The experience with the methodologies for corrosion and environmental measurements and the main results of MULTI-ASSESS made it possible to formulate an additional objective:

• To propose a kit for rapid low cost assessment of the deterioration risk to objects of cultural heritage, consisting of a package of selected material specimens and passive samplers for pollutants.

The kit will be useful for people in heritage management, which enables them to undertake this type of work for their own requirements. For example, monuments registered in the list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites have special requirements for monitoring.

People taking care for these monuments can use the kit to assess if their site is fulfilling the requirements on deterioration rates and tolerable pollution levels and also give indications on possible plans of action, if needed.

Funding agency: European Commission


Posted on

4 March 2016