Natural substances as biocides in the fungi treatment on artistic products to protect the environment and health of restoration workers


  • Laura Casorri Department of Technological Innovations and safety of plants, products and anthropic settlements (DIT) - National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work - Via R. Ferruzzi, 38/40 - 00143 Rome, Italy
  • Eva Masciarelli Department of Technological Innovations and safety of plants, products and anthropic settlements (DIT) - National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work - Via R. Ferruzzi, 38/40 - 00143 Rome, Italy
  • Barbara Ficociello Department of Technological Innovations and safety of plants, products and anthropic settlements (DIT) - National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work - Via R. Ferruzzi, 38/40 - 00143 Rome, Italy.
  • Federica Ietto Department of Technological Innovations and safety of plants, products and anthropic settlements (DIT) - National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work - Via R. Ferruzzi, 38/40 - 00143 Rome, Italy
  • Federica Incoronato Department of Technological Innovations and safety of plants, products and anthropic settlements (DIT) - National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work - Via R. Ferruzzi, 38/40 - 00143 Rome, Italy
  • Marco Di Luigi Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene (DiMEILA), National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work,Via di Fontana Candida 1, 00078 Monte Porzio Catone - Rome, Italy
  • Claudio Beni Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Research Centre for Engineering and Agro-Food Processing, Via della Pascolare 16, Monterotondo, 00015, Italy
  • Giovanni Pacioni Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences - MeSVA, University of L’Aquila, Coppito 1, 67100, L’Aquila, Italy.



cultural heritage, biodeterioration, biodeteriogens, biological risk, essential oil, hydrolates, plant extracts


Cultural heritage artefacts, such as stone works, books, manuscripts, and parchments, are subjected to severe biodeterioration processes over time caused by fungi, algae, lichens, and complex communities of microbial biofilms. Fungal contaminations are widespread as active or dormant spores which are present in the air and on objects and can lead to irreversible biodeterioration processes. Highly toxic and hardly biodegradable compounds are commonly used in cultural heritage conservation and restoration practices, which can be harmful even to the treated materials. Therefore, sector operators may be exposed to both biological and chemical risks, and often the failure to use adequate protective equipment increases the exposure risk. The interest of many researchers has been recently orienting, in this sector also, towards the use of natural products, as a valid alternative both for operators' health and environmental protection. This review aims to provide an overview of the biological and chemical risks associated with the treatment of fungal biodeterioration of artistic works and suggests the use of natural substances as a possible alternative to chemical synthetic products for the safety of restoration operators.


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How to Cite

Casorri, L., Masciarelli, E., Ficociello, B., Ietto, F., Incoronato, F., Di Luigi, M., Beni, C., & Pacioni, G. (2023). Natural substances as biocides in the fungi treatment on artistic products to protect the environment and health of restoration workers. Italian Journal of Mycology, 52(1), 89–111.