Longterm effects from film cleaning chemicals?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Harry Lime, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    I am about to embark on making a series of master prints from some of my best negatives (mostly Tri-X). Unfortunately some of these were developed under less than ideal conditions (hotel bathrooms etc) and are marred by dust and water spots, that I have been unable to remove with compressed air or an anti-static brush.

    I have done some research and it appears that PEC-12 and pads are favored by many people. Kodak used to make a cleaner, but it may be discontinued. There is also one made by Edwal.

    Obviously my prime concern is for the health of my negatives and I am curious to hear if there are any negative long term effects from the chemical contained in a cleaner such as PEC-12 etc.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Rather than imerse them in more chemicals, why not rewash them, dunk in deionised water and dry.
     
  3. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    PEC-12 will not remove particles embedded or stuck hard to the emulsions without causing damage. (I tried....)

    What I do is, to soak the film in clean filtered bottled water for an hour or so, GENTLY rub the surface if and only if absolutely necessary, change water few times, and Photoflo. What doesn't come out as a result stays with the film.
     
  4. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I never let such stuff touch the skin. Nitrile gloves are always handy. And I don't use enough of it to
    worry about the fume hood; but one is just a few feet away if needed. Old-school film cleaners are another subject. Movie film cleaner was basically just 1:1:1 tricholorethane. It was nontoxic, but was
    heavier than oxygen and was originally developed as an anesthetic. Janitors would use it to mop grime
    and chewing gum off vinyl floors, get woozy, and then die from asphyxiation while they were unconscious lying on the floor. It was added as a non-smog-forming solvent in house stains and painters would get woozy and fall off ladders. It's now totally banned - not for that reason but because actual mfg produced dioxins as a byproduct. Going still futher back, carbon tetrachloride was involved - now known to be pretty nasty. Read the MSDS and use common sense. Better safe than sorry.
     
  5. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Sorry, I was replying about your long-term health, not that of the film. But if PEC12 won't do the trick,
    I don't know what will. Resoaking an emulsion just weakens it. The gelatin cross-links over time and
    is partially irreversible.
     
  6. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    In what way does resoaking a film weaken it? Please explain.
     
  7. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    I work in the movie business and the horror stories of wet printing and the cleaning machines are the stuff of legend. Pretty nasty stuff.
     
  8. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    I would have to guess that it depends on how long you soak it. From what I know you can actually over wash a freshly developed film and begin to dissolve the emulsion.

    I don't believe that a second 10-15 min wash would be too harmful, but I could see an hour being a little excessive... But there are more experience people out there to answer those questions.
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I have done over an hour water soak for my own film to try to remove a lint that got embedded into the emulsion. Absolutely no problems. It was either Tmax or Tri-x, I don't remember.

    Obviously, less is better if you can get away with it.
     
  10. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I've soaked negs overnignt in a Photo-flo solution; no problems. That usually removes all the buggers off the film.

    I'm told that the Edwal film cleaner has some nasty stuff in it and I have a can that's about 13 years old. I only use it on special occasions and with gloves.
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    In my experience the Kodak cleaner just removes finger prints and other oily residue. Dust and water spots are frequently permanent damage.
     
  12. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    Impressive. Plain water and lot's of spotting is sound better by the moment...


    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/50578-chloroform-trichlor-film-cleaning.html
    POST BY KINO:

    "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. "
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    From the fingers?


    The long term effects from film cleaning chemicals, is that some if not all the dirt and marks are removed from the film. If you are concerned use gloves and good ventilation. YMMV
     
  14. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    Perc is mostly a problem as a Ozone reducing chemical. It is used in Motiion picture wet gate printing, where it hides film base scratches as it has almost the same index of refraction as the film base.

    The movie folks will rewash Film to get rid of emusion side scratches, but the total wet time is much less than an Hour. I understand that some labs will just rerun the ECN-2 process for colour negatives, and run B&W through their B&W negative process. (running B&W through B&W reversal or ECN-2 would be a disaster of course.)

    The ozone wory means that the Perc vapor should be trapped so that it does not get anywhere near where you might breathe, or out into the atmosphere. Carbon Tet was a REAL poison.
     
  15. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    This is the only good way. Forget the Pec 12.

    Jim
     
  16. gleaf

    gleaf Subscriber

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    1-1-1- trichlor health hazard

    Trichlor replaced carbon tetrachloride as the electronic equipment cleaner of choice. Then it was discovered it was very hard on your liver. Avoid it big time.
     
  17. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    In my experience labs used ultrasonic cleaning as standard pre-print procedure. I have no idea what the fluid involved was. They sometimes rewashed in an attempt to "swell the emulsion" to cure minor abrasions but that may have been voodoo to placate film editors?

    And wetgate printing with (yet another?) fluid. I guess that's what you mean. That did work.
     
  18. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    I usually remove water spots with a micro fiber and 91% alcohol. Sometimes I just use my breath. I have never had good luck with cleaning chemicals. I will use Pec-12 on the surface of prints. If you have embedded dust in the emulsion then rewashing is the way to go.

    I recently cleaned a friend's Polaroid 55 negs, which he had set down on a towel when wet, with a cotton ball under water. They came out fine and I couldn't see any damage when I scanned them.

    YMMV