Gloves

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jonathan R, May 10, 2013.

  1. Jonathan R

    Jonathan R Member

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    I have never worn gloves for any photographic processing. I am not cavalier about this, but I learned processing in my teens in an era before Health & Safety. I only use tongs to handle prints in trays, and aim always to keep my hands clean and dry. Any accidental 'dip' is immediately washed and dried. Likewise when developing film, I do the whole job at the sink where any leaks from the tank can be quickly washed off.

    I have just bought a bottle of Tetenal's Dokumol. Although it seems a fairly conventional formulation, the health warnings are decidedly scary: 'Risk of irreversible damage to health'. Now that I'm older and wiser, I'm more inclined to do the sensible thing. But is it practical?

    After searching older threads it's clear that many forum members wear latex or nitirle gloves when handling darkroom chemicals. How many of you do this for a standard printing session? If you do, how do you cope with the constant need to wash and dry hands before handling dry paper?
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I did the same as you in my youth. But some day I got me only few drops of concentrate of a certain film-developer spilled on one of my fingers. Though I stood next to a water tap and could rinse my finger immediately I got itchy blisters for some time. If I don't wear gloves I handle stuff a way that I could hardly get in contact with even in case of a mishap.
     
  3. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    Medical nitrile examination gloves are very thin and flexible, almost like a "second skin" if you make sure you get the right size and brand, and I simply wash my & dry my hands while wearing the gloves.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the chemicals, but experience tells me that my hands will get very dry and uncomfortable from being wet/washed for more than a short period.
     
  4. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Nitrile rubber is more chemical resistant than latex rubber and shows less (if any) allergene potential. At same thickness latex gloves are more flexible. But for both types a good fit is of greater importance then the difference in flexibility.

    Basically one can chose between tight fit single-use and thicker permanent-use gloves with a bit of play, to give the two extremes. The latter can be easily put-on/off, and give a bit of ventilation.

    Which type to use depends on personal preference but also on the workflow one uses, and on the hazard one is exposed too. No glove will be impermeable. The less permeabable and the thicker, the best.

    Cost may be a factor too. Though one can re-use single-use ones. I though would not re-use ones that have been contaminated.


    Single-use examination/lab gloves are typically offered unpowedered, but may got got some silicone-like inside lubrication.
    Thick, permanent gloves are available blank or with some velour-like inner. With these thick ones one may also consider a blank one and cotton under-gloves. Though a neat fit is most important in such a combination.
     
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  5. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    When printing, I only use tongs to handle prints. I dont like getting chems on my skin, and accidental exposure is easily washed off. When developing film, I always wear gloves, and am careful not to get exposed to any chems, especially Pyro developers. I generally use the thicker nitrile gloves that are easily removed(and a lot easier to get on).
     
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  6. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    When ever preparing chems, I always wear gloves, regardless of the process. When I process film, I have a bit of a strange look - I usually wear a dust free food grade glove on one hand and a Marigold kitchen type glove on the other hand. This still allows me to wear both gloves and press the screen of my ipod for the timer. If I need to pull a glove off quickly, I can easily pull off the Marigold .

    As for print processing, I have found that using tongs and being careful is the best way.
     
  7. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    I use two types of gloves in the darkroom - Close weave cotton gloves for handling paper and negatives, Vinyl for film and any wet process.

    When lith printing, most papers will show up any paw prints from even slightly sweaty fingers, so I've got in to the habit of always using a glove. A clean, fresh vinyl glove goes on when putting paper in the easel, and it stays on as the print progresses through the various trays. Once the print is in a holding tray of water, the glove comes off and is binned. This avoids contaminating the developer baths and also means I have a dry,gloved hand for the next sheet of paper.
     
  8. damonff

    damonff Member

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    I use Nitrile gloves when using PMK and Pyrocat. With everything else I just rinse as I go with no gloves.
     
  9. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    For most standard processing solutions like dev/stop/fix I don’t wear gloves, although I am very careful with concentrated stop, not to get it on my hands. However, there are some chemicals for which I will always wear disposable gloves. Silver nitrate solution for example, I will not go near without gloves and perhaps a moon-suit would be better. Silver nitrate is so splishy splashy that I defy anyone to use this solution without gloves and not get brown stains on their hands or worse.
     
  10. Dinesh

    Dinesh Subscriber

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    After watching Bob Carnie do so, I always wear gloves when printing.
     
  11. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have no desire to be forced out of the darkroom forever. If you don't wear gloves, their is a fair chance this will happen. Sensitization is a very real hazard. i t wont kill you, but it will end your darkroom career, so the real men can swagger all they want, and ill be the guy still printing.

    I always wear nitrile gloves. Once you are used to them, there isn't a problem. You can rinse or wash your hands just as you would without them.
     
  12. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    I use the tong aswell. I do some touching with transfering prints to tray to tray, but make sure I wash hand frequently to not cross contaimination. The only I don't touch is that Seleninium Toning. After I'm done printing my hands are dry as heck. Gloves.. worries me about residue. I guess it depends on what your comfortable with.

    ToddB
     
  13. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I wouldn't mind using nitrile gloves but they iritate my hands.

    Jeff
     
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  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    A friend of mine has had this happen to him. He loves photography, used to have a darkroom, and is now confined to using digital means of the craft. It seems to me he misses his darkroom a lot.

    You cannot sense it coming, you don't know when it's going to happen. One day it'll just be so, and there is nothing that can be done about it.
     
  16. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Have you considered using a barrier cream? Not as effect as gloves but better than nothing. In my experience most pharmacies have them or can order one.
     
  17. Clay2

    Clay2 Member

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    I only used surgical gloves for the evil Cibachrome chemistry.

    Best regards,

    /Clay
     
  18. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    The risk from MQ and PQ developers is minimal unless one has a Metol allergy. However the same cannot be said of other solutions such as staining developers. Pyrogallol is so toxic that as a chemist I will not use it except under laboratory conditions. The LDLo (minimum lethal dose) for this chemical is 28 mg per kg of body weight. The level for chronic exposure is even less. This chemical is readily absorbed thru the skin. There is a particular danger from inhaling dust when mixing developers containing it. I don't wish to be alarmist but this is very nasty stuff. To put its toxicity in perspective the LDLo for potassium cyanide is 2.8 mg per kg. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, when pyrogallol was routinely used as a developing agent it was known that photographers died at a younger age than the rest of the population.

    As with all chemicals I urge people to carefully read the MSDS for each and observe any safety conditions required.
     
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  19. Mark_S

    Mark_S Member

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    As a society we have become more sensitive to toxins, and warnings have certainly ramped up, while many of the materials that we often use have gotten safer. I was in a restaurant, and a young waitress was struggling to remove the plastic capsule covering the cork on a bottle of wine. I commented on how much easier it was to remove the capsules when they were made of lead, and she told me that lead was very toxic, and they would never use it on a bottle!

    I tend to wear nitrile gloves when mixing chemicals, and depending on what I am mixing, a mask as well. When printing, I will either wear no gloves and use tongs, or I will have a glove on my left hand. I like to keep my right hand dry and clean for handling the dry paper. It is so much harder to figure out if your gloved hand is clean and dry than a bare hand.
     
  20. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I wonder what the ingredient(s) is/are in Tetenal's Dokumol that warrants the above warning? Can't recall quite such a dire warning with anything from Ilford? So is there a difference or is Tetenal just being ultra cautious as a result of the company's legal dept breathing down its neck?

    Anyone know the ingredient(s)?

    pentaxuser
     
  21. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    Small prints get the tong treatment. Anything larger than 11x14, I wear gloves. It's a million times easier to grab a 16x20 with your hands.
     
  22. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I use tongs for prints (gloves for 16x20, which happens rarely anyway) and gloves to develop film. Even though I only use daylight tanks, they all leak just a little and I just can't stand having wet hands. Once I hit the washing stage, I remove the gloves, which leaves me with clean hands that don't have chemicals on them for the washing and hanging end of the process as well. I use the purple nitrile gloves from Kimberly Clark - that's what we used at the lab and I know the mediums fit me and that I can do fairly detailed things with them on if need be. If I haven't been sweating, I can take them off in such a way that I can put them back on. Otherwise, they come off so that the outside won't come in contact with anything else.
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Dokumol contains only Hydroquinone as listed developing agent.
     
  24. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks. So what do you need to do with hydroquinone to irreversibly damage your health? You might get skin dermatitis but this, it would seem, might irreversibly damage your chances of doing darkroom work again but is unlikely to leave you with permanent skin damage if you stay away from the chemical.

    Tetenal cannot be referring to drinking the stuff surely? :D

    Puzzling

    pentaxuser
     
  25. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The safety data sheet says:
    -) assumed to can induce cancer
    -) assumed to can induce genetic defects

    These warnings are worst case scenarios. But all further threats make it seem a bad idea to have skin contact with it.
     
  26. Jonathan R

    Jonathan R Member

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    Yes, that's all that's listed on the bottle - presumably the formulation is a shade more complex than that but the other ingredients don't warrant a health warning.

    I haven't previously heard in photographic literature about HQ causing health problems, but I see there is quite a debate on the web (e.g. here) because it is widely used in cosmetics as a skin whitener!

    Metol of course is notorious for causing dermatitis in some people, though I read somewhere that this had been shown to be due to impurities, not to the metol itself.