Once again the present volume contains the majority of the papers presented at the Third Pan-American Biodeterioration Society Meeting held at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, on August 3, 4, 5, and 6, 1989. The sponsors for this symposium included The George Washington University, The Smithsonian Institution, The Virginia Department of Health, The University of Connecticut, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Clark Atlanta University, Ball State University, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, the Agriculture Research Service/U. S. Department of Agriculture, the University of Georgia, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Morehouse College, the University of Texas at Houston, North Carolina State University, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Forest Service/U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program was developed by members of the Program, Planning, and Organizing Committee. Leading scientists in specific topic areas were invited. Also we accepted contributed papers from individuals and laboratories actively involved in relevant areas of research and study. The participation of internationally established scientists was encouraged. The Society CPABS) tried to ensure that the program reflected current developments, informed reviews, embryonic and developing areas, and critical assessment for several aspects of the present state of knowledge as it relates to the major sections of the proceedings. Obviously, not all aspects of biodeterioration or biodegradation are represented.