C41 E6 Green

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Marvin, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Marvin

    Marvin Member

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    Of the C41 and E6 which would be better for the environment and I would assume B&W would be better than color.
    Marvin
     
  2. JMCS

    JMCS Member

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    I believe that C41 chemistry is less toxic than E6. In terms of environmental impact, the truck that carries the film to the store probably pollutes more than film production/processing would.
     
  3. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Don't buy "disposable" electronics or eat at fast food restaurants if you're really worried about the environment. The impact of processing a few rolls of film is way less than those two items. :smile:
     
  4. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    who cares about toxicity when it comes to making amazing photographs fuck the environment LOL :smile:
     
  5. trotkiller

    trotkiller Subscriber

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    :D:D:D

    I'm with steve on this, a few rolls of film arn't going to destroy anything, if you are worried about that enviromental stuff then i am sure that there are better ways to be more "green" than shooting c41 over e6
     
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  6. hrst

    hrst Member

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    All of the current processes are so environment friendly that all the other things play much more significant role. Probably the electricity for sending your message and these five answers so far have an impact of about same scale than processing a few E6 rolls instead of C-41.

    BW is probably much worse than C-41 (because of longer washing, usually), but again, it's still about nothing.
     
  7. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    im going to experiment with DMT as a colour developer when i get home, by extracting it from the trees in my backyard, should be very low in impact... you could always smoke the left over DMT too :tongue:
     
  8. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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    It seems a simple question but it is very difficult to give an exact answer.
    Environmental Guidelines for Amateur Photographers
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/corp/environment/kes/pubs/pdfs/j300.pdf
    E6 process had in addition to C 41 process a b & w developer and a chemical fog, probably E6 be valued more harmful to the environment.
    Spring water is relatively „good solutions”.
    Solution for processing films containing all sorts of unfavorable environmental components.
    George
     
  9. JMCS

    JMCS Member

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    In all honesty the best way to be "green" with photography is to not buy a computer/ digicam/ memory cards every 2 years. Creating circuit boards for those things, and the processes for casting plastic and silicon for those components is far more toxic/ eco-unfriendly than anything film.
     
  10. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    From a large volume point of view, Some of the toxic stuff from processing film, has a decent monetary value, so there has been an incentive to be green for years. Flush silver down the drain? Even the most slap-dash commercial processor has the incentive to recover that, as at worst its cost neutral, at best they make some cash for free.

    Developer and the like residues are not huge.

    As for the hobby processor, even a few rolls a week aren't going to make much of an impact
     
  11. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    And another thing. Do you smoke? If yes stop smoking and you will be a lot greener than using e6 or c41 chemicals.
     
  12. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    Shhht!
    Now the last thing we need are environmentalists shouting death to E6. It's had enough with all the digital stuff.

    Well, infact, there is a lot more sources that pollute WAY more than the whole film processing and manufacturing of film. As it's been said, the manufacturers have made the process as green as they could, were it more mainstream, and this would be improved.
    I believe that all the dump from the digital components pollute more. The countries in development are the landfill of the developed world. Creepy

    I remember reading in p.net a thread about how green is the film industry. Well, myths. All I remember is that it was written by Ron Mowrey (PE).
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I said that the film industry was not green?

    On the contrary! I maintain that it is very green and a mature manufacturing process. It is especially green when one considers the byproducts of the digital industry which is very much not green.

    PE
     
  14. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    The greenest form of photography would be anthotype :wink:

    As Ron noted, the electronics industry as a whole (including the digital photography sector) is not at all green. Neither are the b&w, c41, nor E6 processes.
     
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Keith, those 3 processes are greener than digital though as they use no mercury, lead or arsenic. So, as you say, digital is not very green and analog by comparison is a model of greenness. AAMOF, it has been noted here that Ammonium Hypo is used in fertilzers. So, unused or desilvered fix and blix are fertilzers when used at the proper concentration. How green can you get?

    PE
     
  16. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    There's a lot more to the overall process, though, Ron. The film bases are a petrochemical product, and a lot of the world's silver is still mined in an environmentally damaging way or obtained through mining of other metals. There is no free lunch: the methods to obtain these materials are not nice. Byproducts include arsenic and many other lovely elements. But in terms of overall usage of silver, the electronic industry is also guilty of course.

    Here is a relevant quote from this site:

    "In 1978, the estimated loss of silver to the environment in the USA was 2.5 million kilograms, mostly to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; the photographic industry alone accounted for about 47% of all silver discharged into the environment from anthropogenic sources (Smith & Carson, 1977). Purcell & Peters (1998) cited a report by Scow et al. (1981) that stated that the estimated loss of silver to the environment in the USA in 1978 ranged from 2.4 to 2.5 million kilograms. Twenty-nine per cent was released to the aquatic environment, whereas 68% was released to land as solid waste. It was reported that 30% of the total release originated from natural sources and 30% from photographic developing and manufacture. In 1999, the estimated release to the environment in the USA via emissions, discharges, and waste disposal from sites listed in the Toxic Release Inventory were 270 000 kg for silver and 1.7 million kilograms for silver compounds. Releases to land amounted to 90% for silver compounds and 40% for silver, whereas nearly 60% of the silver releases were via off-site waste disposal (TRI, 1999)."

    I didn't find more recent data.

    The usual pro-digital argument is that digital doesn't use a plastic base and that most digital images never even wind up on paper. I know, I know, don't shoot the messenger :wink:

    P.P.S. Incidentally, I am not a fan of ammonia fertilization, there are much greener ways to do it. That we have to do it now is sign of how much the soil has been mistreated. But that's another topic!
     
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  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Digital prints and analog prints are both made on RC paper. Analog B&W prints use silver, and color prints use silver + azomethine dyes. Digital uses Azo dyes and/or pigments. Many pigments are toxic.

    And, the quote above is outdated and does not take into account the minilab with reduced water wash rates. So..... You have to balance the film production against sensor production and analog and digital print material production. These factors are difficult to weigh.

    In 1977, the figures you cite above were already becoming obsolete and many of them were based on the C-22, E4 and P122 processes which were being obsoleted or were obsolete at the time of that writing. At that time, we had reports of forced closings of labs in Long Island due to suspected pollution, but much of the evidence is very weak and on a par with the heavy water leak data (nearly a sham and a real shame).

    These same environmentalists class EDTA as a harmful chemical, but it is quite benign and is used medically to combat heavy metal poisoning.

    So, where do you draw a line? IDK. I do know that the "pollution" from digital is taking place at the factories, but the "pollution" of analog can take place in our homes. I do know that the pollution produced by an analog photo process (film + prints) is far less harmful than breaking one fluorescent light in the house in winter with the windows and doors closed. This might not have been true 50 years ago. They might have been on a par.

    PE
     
  18. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    It actually depends on the actual chemistry being used - some brands of E6/C41 chemicals are better than others. Black and white is the same - different developers are "worse" than others when it comes to how harmful they are.

    Commercial processors send all their fixer and wash/stab baths off for processing to remove the silver..

    The simple answer - dispose of all your used chemicals at a chemical disposal centre and you won't harm the enviroment :smile:
     
  19. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Yep, I agree that photography's share of the silver-related compounds dumped into the environment has gone down drastically, and maybe that is part of what's behind the low silver prices over the past few decades.

    Anyway, I default to my original answer :wink: Anthotype is green.

    Regarding electronics, fluorescent lighting, etc. the simple fact is that, for the most part, these industries are still not required to reclaim hazmats from their products after they are spent. It's a terrible situation. <-- These words spoken by a card-carrying Libertarian, even...
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    When you consider that today's films and papers contain about 50% less silver due to the higher quality emulsions and in color, due to the higher efficiency couplers, then yes, the consumption of silver per unit of coated photo product is much lower today.

    And, Anthotype is green, but it also fades!

    PE
     
  21. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    That's the very definition of green, isn't it.
     
  22. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    Oh no, you didn't. Accidentally I wrote that post with a bit of doubtful/negative tone. Infact, I also support that the industry is green. There is toxic stuff in it, but handled well.

    Here is the article: http://photo.net/learn/color_myths#24
    I remember it was a nice read, must read it again soon.
     
  23. Marvin

    Marvin Member

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    I guess I opened a can of worms here but I was only looking for Information. I do E6 C41 and B&W at my home and was just wondering what the effects were. I do not do a large volume so I am not really worried about the one or two rolls a week that I do. My current plans are to process E6 and C41 and scan them. For B&W I plan to develop wet print and scan.
    Marvin