Selenium toner (Ilford) question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by haris, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. haris

    haris Guest

    Hello,

    I know selenium toners are toxic, but how much toxic? I first ordered, and then withdraw from order selenium toner because I don't have well ventilated darkroom. That is, there is one ventilator, but I am not sure how efficient it is.

    There is one option, that is when spring (end of winter) come I will selenium tone my prints on my balcony, but till then... :smile:

    Oh, by the way, is there any problems when selenium toning old prints, that is, is there some limit from time of making prints till time of selenium toning that print.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2007
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Selenium is absorbed through the skin or by ingestion (eating) so you'd be fine with it.

    You can tone later if you want to but personally I find it easier to do it as part of my normal processing sequence.

    Ian
     
  3. haris

    haris Guest

    Thank you Ian.

    I will wear gloves and can wear mouth/nose mask, I am also worried about fumes which will rest in room, because my darkroom is actually my bathroom, and of course I am not only user of it :smile:
     
  4. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    You're using a cannon to kill a fly. Selenium toner doesn't smell that badly when diluted to working strength. The worst is a faint smell of ammonia from the ammonium thiosulfate in the prepared solution. A bathroom ventilator is more than enough to clear the space of any smells. Gloves or tongs are recommended, but the mask is superfluous to say the least.
     
  5. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    If I were to never use gloves and let selenium toner soak on into me what are the symptoms of selenium poisoning? is it just a skin irritation etc or is there something more sinister? does the chemical filter out of your body in time of love you and linger?
     
  6. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    The selenium itself will not affect you unless you touch or ingest the toner. The fumes come instead from ammonia gas that is released from the ammonium thiosulfate present in the toner.

    We're not talking about massive exposure, but ammonia is not good for your respiratory health, so ventilate when you tone!

    As for selenium ingestion: as is the case with most metals, the human body need tiny traces of it to survive. Garlic, mushrooms and broccoli are all good sources of selenium. Too much can kill you, but the only really dangerous form of selenium is powder. Apparently AA dipped his hands in his toner all the time, and that's not what killed him. But for the price of nitrile glove, I would keep myself clean. There are already enough crap in the air around us that it's stupid not to take basic precautions.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Steve, selenium is supposed to be a poisonous metal, but actually a lot of people have selenium deficiency so take tablets with.

    Its not that poisonous its just a case of taking care, a bit or your hands probably does very little if any harm, it would take a long time to diffuse into your body anyway.

    So as long as you wash your hands well, I use the cyanide & other poison method if I've had my hands in contact with it. Wash your hands then wash the taps in case you left a trace on them then wash your hands again. I do that to prevent it getting on food I might handle later

    Ian.
     
  8. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    an ounce of Common sense works fine.... do not drink it!

    The smell is ammonia so a bathroom ventilator should do fine, but if you want use a spaguetti container to tone. You'll do it blind so test for completion of toning (15- 20 min should do) and use a quite concnetrated solution and do not mix with HCA.
    Then replenish every so often with fresh concnetrate, and if slush forms at the bottom filter with a coffee filter and keep going. that way it lasts months.
     
  9. haris

    haris Guest

    Thank you all.
     
  10. ITD

    ITD Subscriber

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    I've often wondered about this - if you just keep replenishing it, and never discarding, won't you eventually end up with gallons of the stuff?
     
  11. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Well, not really. First, some is lost to carry out with each print that goes through. More is lost if you filter off the inevitable sludge that accumulates. Replenish the solution by removing an amount of the used working solution, minus the losses, equal to the amount of fresh concentrate needed to bring the working solution back up to its original strength.
     
  12. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear Haris,

    Most of your questions have already been answered but :

    Always work in a well ventilated darkroom:
    Always read the instructions :
    Read the full MSDS ( material data safety sheets ) on the ILFORD Photo website:
    Protect yourself, always use tongs, wear gloves and suitable clothing protection :

    Simon ILFORD photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  13. ITD

    ITD Subscriber

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    Thanks, it was the removal of an amount of used solution which I'd not seen mentioned before. Makes perfect sense now!
     
  14. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Well, IMHO you always dump the last bit and you lose small amounts over time.
    If you want to be consistent filter every XX weeks and then replace (take some out and put some fresh in) about 10%

     
  15. haris

    haris Guest


    Thank you all,

    Simon, thanks, I am aware of what you said, but one thing is theory, and practice... For example what means well ventilated darkroom, that is what well ventilated means to you and what to me :smile:...

    Thanks again