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What sealer should be used to protect fossils so kids can handle them?

Q. I'm a park educator (park naturalist) working at a fossil site in Canada. I'm putting together sets of fossils for use in classrooms, including some Green River fish fossils, which are in very soft limestone that flakes in delaminates easily. The fossils are a super thin layer, almost paint-like on the surface of the stone. I need something to coat or seal these fossils so that they can be handled by kids on a regular basis. They'll also need to be washed (likely hot water and soap) after each use. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions with regards to a coat or sealer I should use? Any advice would be gratefully accepted.

A. What an interesting project! I'm sure the kids will enjoy and learn a lot from handling the fossils. Regular impregnating sealer will not work for fossils. We recommend dipping the fossils in urethane or applying a thin, clear epoxy. We would very much enjoy an update on your project. Have you seen our Kid's Page in SurpHace BUZZ magazine? If not, you might be interested in checking that out. Feel free to contact us with any follow-up questions, as well.

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