Chloroform/TriChlor for film cleaning

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by sun of sand, May 21, 2008.

  1. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    Scant stuff on the net besides it being the best solvent before being essentially banned so was wondering about its film cleaning properties abilities. It was used more for motion picture, I guess ...much use for our still negatives or overkill? What is it supposed to clean exactly? Oil/fingerprints/Dust? Would it "ruin" the still negative for printing in any way? Is a microfiber/brush/Dust Off better or safer?
    Anyone have a procedure besides dabbing a cloth in it and goin' to town? Just bathe -the film- in it?


    Anything?
     
  2. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    I can just imagine the phone call to the chemical supplier...

    "Yes, I'd like some ether, chloroform, collodion, and potassium cyanide please. Oh, excuse me, there's some guys in suits at the door."
     
  3. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    That reminds me of a story during the bird flu craze a few years ago
    Dude was sick/not feeling good etc whatever so took the day off from work
    Boss called up and dude said he was sick ..Got this bird flu sh*t
    Boss calls authorites and team shows up at his door sportin' their official gear and they ring the bell a few times with no answer
    Team of suits break through the door to find dude sittin' down in Pj's watching Price is Right about to sh*t a brick
    Team questions dude why the f*ck he didn't answer the door
    That doorbell broke years ago

    I doubt that story is true but it's hilarious to act out


    How would one go about making cyanide from cherries?
     
  4. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    My time in film cutting rooms commenced after trichloroethylene had been stopped, as I understand it following action by the British unions. We used Freon, which was not particularly safer, certainly dodgy for the environment (but we didn't appear to have one of those at that time!!)

    For what's it's worth the technique was to conservatively dampen a velvet cloth with Freon (real cotton velvet BTW, not synthetic, to avoid static) and wrap it around a section of the roll of the film, usually holding the sandwich against the horizontal bench surface, and then wind the film from reel to reel at a moderate speed, aiming to have the film surface dry before it met the roll on the take-up spool. It was advisable to swap the section of the velvet in contact with the film every 100-200 feet to avoid the possibility of accumulated grunge being redeposited on the film.

    Motion picture labs used an ultrasonic bath to greater and lesser effect, but I'm not sure what fluid was used, I'd imagine that it's still used, there are lots of motion pics shot on film still.

    Regards - Ross
     
  5. Kino

    Kino Member

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    1:1:1 Trichlor has been banned for some time now by International Treaty for film cleaning and Perchloroethylene has replaced it (at least in some parts of the USA), but that appears to be on the way out as well. The reason for banning is that it is a ozone depleting chemical and for its' toxicity.

    Perc (for short), better known as dry-cleaning fluid and used in motion picture wet gate printing operations for base scratch abatement, has been pressed into service as the next active solvent for motion picture cleaning, but we found it less effective than Trichlor as it has a higher volatilization point.

    You probably shouldn't use this at home even if you can find it, as you need Perc resistant gloves, an organic vapor cartridge air mask and protective eye wear, as well as an semi-annual blood test to screen for blood disorders and cancer.

    The thing about Perc, and even more so Trichor, is its amazing de-fatting capabilities; dip your finger in it and it will turn white instantly as the liquid evaporates, as all the fat from the first few layers of skin are instantly removed. The liquid also instantly goes into your blood stream and you can pass out from over exposure in about 10 minutes of use in a improperly ventilated room.

    If you have to use it, and I would advise you don't, do so outside and very sparingly.
     
  6. BBMOR

    BBMOR Member

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    Hey there

    please do not use chloroform or trichlor ,perchlor etc it is a fantastic cleaner but at the same time toxic ,it is a drug , you will feel as after drunking a lot of beer and as already mentioned forbidden ,use distilled or demineralised water wit a drop of surfactant (last rincing bath stuff) and let dry on the air

    jm
     
  7. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    I use a soft, lint-free cloth wound around my finger with lighter fluid applied to the end. It seems to wipe off finger prints and just about anything else. I keep a bottle of lighter fluid next to my enlargers for just that purpose.
     
  8. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    Ok thanks very much guys. Environmental concerns are valid but we don't care about the environment
    I'm glad everyone cares for my safety but after reading the OSHA I'm much less scared than I was after reading Kinos post
    haha Instant Death
     
  9. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Chloroform, like most other chlorinated hydrocarbons, is a great degreaser. Unfortunately, it is a rather nasty chemical. It is a listed carcinogen, although a rather mild one, an inhalation hazard, and a very nasty skin irritant.
     
  10. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Have at it buddy; it's your funeral, but make sure you don't poison anyone else or the environment around you.

    We used hundreds of gallons of the stuff in a year, but we did so RESPONSIBLY, with personal protection and Hazmat support for the waste stream.

    You should reap the fruits of your actions, but have the balls to not press it upon someone else who has no choice.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2008
  11. maxbloom

    maxbloom Member

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    Hm. We routinely used chloroform for cleaning during chem labs when acetone wouldn't do the trick. Then again we had fume hoods and a chem disposal team, which I don't have in my home.
     
  12. strangepics

    strangepics Member

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    Has anyone tried using pure Splenda? It's also an organochloride (no, you shouldn't be consuming it, either). Hehe.
     
  13. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    Varsol (mineral spirits) is cheap, has a relatively high flash point and does a good job. I think toxicity is quite low but really; a well ventilated room means do it outside.
     
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  15. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    Come on, Kino. A few ounces of Chloroform against the thousands of pounds of whatever harmful substances flooding into our environment every year? Sure, a few ounces of something is bad enough since if it's OK for me I should allow everyone a few ounces of stuff
    But everyone does have a few ounces of stuff. ?
    TriChlor is used in pools?

    Seriously though. Are you squeaky clean, Kino? I doubt it? Where are your balls? You don't pollute? Pollute is just a nice way of saying poison, right?
    We press things upon people all the time. That's life. Life right now, anyway. Life not soon to be changed, if ever.
    What about Superfund sites? Who gives a shit? Only the people that live in or near those sites and a few people who can build a reputation off it
    Can you name all the sites around you that are pulluted? You march every weekend and tie ribbons? That shits fake. Not sincere. Victor, Ny has an area above the accepted level of trichlor in the groundwater -a superfund site- and it has been 20 years since they knew it was contaminated. Scott Norwood was just kicking wide right.


    Who said I'm not a responsible person? I'm asking questions. I think it's responsible to do just that. I don't think it's very responsible to just scare someone out of doing something. Knowledge doesn't make an enemy. Stupid makes enemies. What does waste disposal do with trichlor once they get it? Bottle it up and dump? I don't know. Might as well use it safely and then dump it. You don't wash the film off after you treated it to some trichlor, do you? Do you?

    You handled hundreds of pounds ..a career in chloroform that would necessitate higher levels of precaution
    I have some ounces.
    Trichlor seems to be less harmful to the ozone than an old can of aqua-net. lol "1,1,1-Trichloroethane has been given an ozone depletion potential of 0.1, which is 10 times lower than most chlorofluorocarbons. It is included in the Montreal Protocol because of its large production for mainly emissive uses."
    No big deal for my personal use then.

    "Early symptoms of CNS depression (dizziness, light-headedness) have been reported at 450 to 900 ppm. Disturbances in equilibrium occurred at 1900 ppm with marked incoordination at 5000 ppm."
    That's quite a bit. And I don't drink alcohol.
    "The most common findings on autopsy has been fluid accumulation (edema) in the lungs. In workers who survived acute exposures, there were no signs of liver, kidney or heart toxicity.(3,4) Deaths have also occurred in some people who have intentionally inhaled large amounts of 1,1,1-TCE "
    "Immersion of the hand in liquid 1,1,1-TCE for 30 minutes produced a burning sensation, but only mild redness which lasted one hour.(5) Prolonged or repeated contact may result in dermatitis due to defatting of the skin.(3) Animals studies indicate that 1,1,1-TCE is a slight to moderate skin irritant. There is minimal absorption of 1,1,1-TCE through the skin and this is not considered to be a major route of exposure."
    "1,1,1-TCE produces only mild, temporary irritation on direct contact."
    "Accidental ingestion of about 1 ounce (600 mg/kg) produced severe vomiting and diarrhea for 6 hours after ingestion, but no signs of CNS disturbances. Follow-up studies indicated no evidence of liver or kidney injury."

    Seems like I need a pair of gloves and a container to put the used cotton in and then dispose of every year
     
  16. Kino

    Kino Member

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    You know SOS, you ask an opinion, you get an answer. Seems you had your mind made up before you got here, so why bother?

    Never said I was squeaky clean, I do my part to pollute this World, that is for sure, but I don't do it on purpose or when I have been given information that my actions COULD cause harm to the environment and that's no excuse for me to willingly disregard the warnings or expose someone else to contamination because I choose not to believe...

    Superfund sites? Are you KIDDING? Google "Superfund" and "Dayon, Ohio" sometime. Where the heck do you think General Motors, National Cash Register, Wright-Patterson AFB and the Mound Nuclear Facility got their start? Hello, A-Bomb production?

    My advice WAS based on 13 years of first-hand knowledge of USE of Trichlor, which you brushed off as scare-tactics because you didn't want hear it.

    I'll say it again; PLEASE, if you feel like it will improve your photography, DRINK the stuff, but don't expose anyone else to the chemical through your biases.
     
  17. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    Kino, I was hoping to find out if its something that would work well/better than other substances and how you'd most effectively use it.
    I was able to get some and thought I might as well take some if it's any good ..I don't see the point of not using something already made unless it can be turned into something non-toxic and disposed of like water
    I didn't know whether motion pictures were somehow more resisitant to the solvent than still image film
    or if motion pictures weren't meant to last forever/many duplicates would be made so that it wasn't a huge deal to ruin one copy with overcleaning

    If someone were
    well, if a few people had said that trichlor damages or could possibly damage or isn't any better than water & Photo-Flo .."overkill" for still photographers I'd leave it alone and wouldn't think twice about it

    You didn't give any info at all on uses but rather went straight to scare straight. I figured it was clear that I wouldn't be handling gallons of the stuff
    After reading your post I did more research just because I believed there was no way in hell it could be quite THAT bad.
    Your first reply was accepted for what it was ..it led me to do more on my own sooner than I would have otherwise

    Don't do it on purpose? You think I'm just playing skip the bottle of trichlor over the stream?
    We all buy things and that=pollution=on purpose. When was the last time you used a reel lawn mower or sickle or scythe?
    I know we all know this but those things do far more damage to people and the environment than my little amount of carefully used/discarded trichlor ever likely will
    Seems to be "banned" only because it was so good at its job that so much was used - in ways in which its disposal could not be regulated- that it was safer to essentially "ban" it then try restricting it
     
  18. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Fair enough.

    The stuff you have is a wonderful solvent for cleaning all bases of film; acetate, diacetate and polyeser/estar. It is good for heavy de-greasing, but will probably not have too good an effect on water marks unless you use some mechanical scrubbing with a lint free cloth or such. For base side water spotting, a photo chamois and distilled water with a drop of photoflo would probably do as well or better; emulsion side spotting... I'd try the trichlor first and if that doesn't work, try the chamois VERY GENTLY after the Trichlor is totally dry (just a few seconds).

    Long term effects on bases COULD lead to some early brittleness, but 40 years of motion picture use (which has essentially the same base formulations) does not seem to point to this being an excessive worry.

    Best way to use a very small quantity, is to put it in a small bottle, take a nitrile gloved hand (you aren't getting off without some safety lecture, I was hazmat certified) and dab a bit on a soft, microfiber cloth and rub the negative in a light circular motion. Soon as you can, remove the rag from the room, put it in direct sunshine to evaporate any remaining solvent and when its dry you can wash it.

    Don't let it come in contact with aluminum or galvanized metal; bad business.

    As for it being banned, you can believe whatever you want. Frankly, we in our lab always thought the Perc was more hazardous than the Trichlor, but for some reason, one got banned and one did not.
     
  19. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    thanks, Kino
    I'll respect the stuff
     
  20. yellowcat

    yellowcat Member

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    I use PEC 12http://www.lumierephoto.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=1&Product_Code=50-411&Category_Code=CHSU

    Not sure what it's made of but I find it to be a very good product.
     
  21. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    FYI, lighter fluid is naptha. Charcoal lighter fluid is odorless mineral spirits.
     
  22. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    In my hands, Kodak Film Cleaner

    Vintage, "OLD," maybe 1970's as a guess. I probably picked it up for fifty cents or something on a bargain table many years ago. I've never used it, it's about 1/2 full. It originally sold at a Wasatch Photo for $4.63. Quite a sum back whenever it was.

    Huge warning over the product name about flammability.

    Contains 1,1,2-tricholor-1,2,2-trifluoroethane (76-13-1) and heptane (142-82-5).
     
  23. Kino

    Kino Member

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    thats the real thing...
     
  24. Murray Kelly

    Murray Kelly Member

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    I have been 'lurking' on this thread, since I used to use Tri-chloro-ethylene as an anesthetic agent. (there! I given away my cover). It's advantage over ether was it's non-inflammability. Ether fires were high in everyone's mind back in the 50-60's. It does make your fingers numb if you use it to swab down greasy things for more than half hour or so but I'm still here all these years later to tell the tale. I do believe I have a bottle in the cupboard, stashed away as a dry-cleaner. I even read they make decaff coffee by washing the beans in it.
    It doesn't rot your liver like (say) halothane.
    Are we really talking about the same thing? Flammable?
    I used to have this idea it was the cement used to splice my 8mm home movies. Therefore I'd be careful about using it to clean film.

    Murray
     
  25. Kino

    Kino Member

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    It's not purely the cement; might have been an additive to dry the cement faster is my guess...

    It evaporates very, very quickly; like ether... but I don't have to tell you that, eh?
     
  26. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    choloform/tri

    Carbon Tec


    Some times I marvel that I am still alive and in reasonable good health. In the 50’s I was in the USN Photo School in Pensacola Fl,. We used to use Carbon Tec as it was called poured out on the asphalt tile floors to clean off the scuff marks for the weekly inspections and buffed them with a floor polisher. Of course I also now wear hearing aids because we didn’t know that the noise level of the first jets on our aircraft carrier was harmful It was being aware of the spinning propellers that was the main danger.!