Changement climatique - Recherche française (avec laboratoires CNRS) - 2010-2015


Long-term damage to glass in Paris in a changing environment

Publication Year


  • Ionescu, Anda
  • Lefevre, Roger-Alexandre
  • Brimblecombe, Peter
  • Grossi, Carlota M.
SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT Volume: 431 Pages: 151-156 Published: 2012

Glass weathering depends mainly on its chemical composition: Si-Ca-K mediaeval glass is low durable, while Si-Ca-Na Roman as well as modern glass are very durable. Mediaeval glass is subject to the superficial leaching of K and Ca ions leading to the formation of a hydrated silica-gel layer. Both types of glass develop a superficial stratum of deposited atmospheric particles cemented by crystals of gypsum (and syngenite in the case of Si-Ca-K glass), leading to an impairment of the optical properties: decrease of transparency and increase of haze. Dose-response functions established for the two types of glass reveal that haze depends only on pollution parameters (PM, SO2, NO2), while leaching depends both on pollution and climate parameters (RH, T, SO2, NO2). Instrumental records are available for temperature in Paris from 1800. Air pollution in Paris was estimated from statistics of fuel use from 1875 to 1943, measurements that started in the 1950s and projections across the 21st century. The estimated annual rate of haze development indicates a gradual rise from the 16th century. The increasing importance of coal as a fuel through the 19th century and enhanced sulphur dioxide concentration make a rapid increase in haze formation, which reaches a peak about 1950. The likely damage to mediaeval glass follows a rather similar pattern. The period of damage from aggressive pollutants looks later and for a briefer time in Paris than in London. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author Keyword(s)
  • Modern glass
  • Stained glass windows
  • Climate change
  • Air pollution
  • Dose-response functions
KeyWord(s) Plus
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Environment/Ecology
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Environmental Sciences

[Ionescu, Anda; Lefevre, Roger-Alexandre] Univ Paris Est Creteil, F-94010 Creteil, France; [Brimblecombe, Peter; Grossi, Carlota M.] Univ E Anglia, Sch Environm Sci, Norwich NR4 7TJ, Norfolk, England

Reprint Adress

Ionescu, A (reprint author), Univ Paris Est Creteil, 61 Ave Gen Gaulle, F-94010 Creteil, France.

  • France
  • United Kingdom
Accession Number
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