Solar paper safe for children?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by michael_r, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    This might be a really stupid question so apologies in advance. Silverprint is offering this new nifty quasi-cyanotype paper. I read about it in the latest issue of Black+White. It is not a cyanotype kit. It is just paper you expose to sunlight, and then wash in cold water. The article said it is safe for children, but I wanted to know a little more. I'd love to try this out with my 3-year old nephew who loves cameras. But is this really safe? The paper is coated, so I would have thought the paper is toxic. And when you wash it, I would have thought the water is then toxic. Anyway, thoughts? Below is the description from Silverprint.

    Thanks
    Michael


    1813Solar Paper 8x10" 25 Sheets£12.50 £15.00

    Solar Paper pack contains 25 sheets of 8x10” light sensitive blueprint paper. Cheap, safe, very simple and fun to use and doesn’t require any chemicals or darkroom conditions. All you need to do is take a sheet of paper out of the pack and arrange a composition of objects or negatives onto your paper. Interesting shapes or semi-translucent objects will give a nice effect; Leaves, grass, flowers, glass objects, feathers, jewellery, paper cutouts, fabrics, lace – all will work great. After exposing the print in the sunshine for a few minutes, wash it in tapwater to see a wonderful white-on-blue image emerge. Solar Paper is the perfect EDUCATION tool that allows children to learn about composition, negative/positive and the physics of light – all in a fun, safe and playful way.
     
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Sounds like the old Sunprint paper kits, which did exactly what you describe. No chemicals needed to process; just water. But the sheets were smaller, like 5x5".

    I had one of those, and it was a lot of fun indeed, but I'm not sure exactly what the paper contained chemically, so I can't answer any of your safety queries.
     
  3. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Yeah I don't get how this can really be safe for children unless the coating and resulting solution are non-toxic. You swish the paper around in water for a few minutes, and then what if the child puts his fingers in his mouth? What's in that water?? Anyhow maybe someone will know.
     
  4. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    The only children who should have a problem with this paper are those who eat it. There are very few things in modern life which are absolutely safe for everyone.
     
  5. Benoît99

    Benoît99 Member

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  6. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I guess I'll forget about it for now. Too bad. It would be a lot of fun to do this with the little guy.
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    At 3, he seems a little young to get much out of the exercise, and would likely require a lot of supervision to keep him safe from whatever hazards there might be, such as licking his wet hands after processing.
    However, you could try letting him chose the objects and place them on the dry paper, then let him watch the processing.
    As Jim says, as long as he is not trying to eat the stuff, there is no great hazard.

    I was first introduced to this when I was maybe 8 as blueprint paper that my mother showed me and we made various photograms and such. Still a memory after all these years.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2012
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    If it's unsafe for children then it's also unsafe for adults.


    Steve.
     
  9. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Buy your 3 year old nephew LEGO for these ages or if you are sure its safe buy him a Froebel Toys Kit.
    Mother of little Frank Lloyd Wright wanted him as an architect. She hanged architecture drawings to his room and She saw Froebel toys at Chicago World Fair and liitle Frank learned to compose and play with the mass at this age. He used these toys until his death and gave lots of reference to them. His building plans , playing with the window ornaments , stone ornaments everywhere around his buildings , textile designs are all result of Froebel Gifts , they come as number 1,2.. or so and not cheap but excellent.

    Umut
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    michael

    i think freestyle also sells this paper call them and ask them what it is ..
    from my understanding it is pre-coated cyanotype paper ( "blueprint" = "cyanotype" )
     
  11. mjs

    mjs Member

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    Why not contact the vendor and ask for the Safety Data Sheet (as it's known on this side of the pond.) They ought to be able to tell you what's in it.

    Mike
     
  12. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I have the Sun Art paper from a different source and the package says 6+. I think that's got a lot more to do with the ability to follow instructions than with safety. I totally agree with bdial that as long as he doesn't eat it and washes his hands after handling a wet print (if he does that), that it should be fine. I have a two year old and I wouldn't even think of doing this with him because his attention span is no where near long enough.
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    The 6+ marking is probably more of a legality than a practicality. In Europe, many children's toys are marked "not for children under 36 months". Not because they are not suitable but because the manufacturers/distributors would have to pay for extra testing (choking hazard, etc.) which they don't have to do for 36+ months.


    Steve.
     
  14. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    This little guy has a remarkably long attention span so there would be no problem there. This would all be done under my supervision of course. But I would still be concerned he might end up with some residue on his hands that doesn't easily wash off or whatever. Perhaps I will contact Silverprint. I'll try Freestyle too (thanks, John).

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone.
     
  15. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Just looked on Freestyle's site at their Sun Paper and they indicate:

    "Conforms to ASTM D4236 regulation stating that this product can be used safely as an "art material" or "craft material" for use by children and is Non-Toxic"

    Interesting. I'll still call them for some more info though.
     
  16. mark

    mark Member

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    3 is pretty young. but if he places the stuff on the paper and you do the processing and he watches he will have fun. Give him some gloves to wear and he will feel very important. He is 3 so his attention may not stick to the subject.
     
  17. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    If it's rebranded Sunprint then I wouldn't worry about it. This is the same stuff that science museums sell in their gift shops to kids. I remember clearly seeing it in the Museum Of Science in Boston when I was a kid, many, many moons ago. As long as he doesn't eat it, he should be fine.