spent fixer ... the poll

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jnanian, Jul 29, 2009.

what do you do with your spent fixer?

  1. pour down drain

    146 vote(s)
    58.9%
  2. use a silver magnet ( sold at porters )

    7 vote(s)
    2.8%
  3. use a trickle tank

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. "metal wool" / steel wool ( or another metal )

    34 vote(s)
    13.7%
  5. use a evaporation unit

    2 vote(s)
    0.8%
  6. leave out to let nature evaporate

    11 vote(s)
    4.4%
  7. use an ion transfer machine

    4 vote(s)
    1.6%
  8. have a waste hauler take it away

    14 vote(s)
    5.6%
  9. take it to household waste recovery center

    45 vote(s)
    18.1%
  10. i have a lab take care of my film + prints

    3 vote(s)
    1.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    you don't need to identify yourself or post any words in this thread
    it is just a poll ..
     
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  2. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have a waste hauler to take it away. But sometimes I pour it down the drain, but not on a regular basis.

    Jeff
     
  3. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    steel wool, then pour remainder out
     
  4. Fluidphoto

    Fluidphoto Member

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    I remember doing a project in chemistry class years ago about disposing of exhausted fixer. If you mix in some table salt (alot of table salt) and let it settle, the salt causes an ion exchange and the silver falls out of the solution as a white sludge that can be filtered out after the other liquid is decanted off. It's the silver that tends to be the worst part of solution after it's disposed of.

    Ryan
     
  5. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

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    Crumpled aluminum foil insead of steel wool. Just as effective, cleaner, and gives me some useable silver sludge for jewelry and other "fooling around" metal working projects. I't easy to tell when the silver is totally removed when a few bits of aluminum remain in the preciptate. Dump the fixer (siphon it off) after stripping out the silver.

    Stripping silver with aluminum also makes it possible to re-use the fixer. This was discussed by Chapman in Darkroom techniques about 10~15 years ago.

    Reinhold
     
  6. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    two duplicate threads merged.
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    disappointing results so far
     
  8. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Why is it bad to dump silver? I would have assumed that it was the thiosulfates that was the environmentally hazardous part; what harm does the silver cause?
     
  9. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Pour it down the drain with not an ounce of guilt. Every household in the country uses more dangerous and harmful chemicals for cleaning.
     
  10. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Same here.
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Bingo!

    That is my thought, although I may start using aluminum foil or steel wool.

    Steve
     
  12. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    It's a heavy metal. People, animals, fish... accumulate these from the drinking water and can get very sick. Accumulate is in when you ingest some it never goes away. It just builds up for life. You have heard of Mercury poisoning? That's another heavy metal.
     
  13. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Why? Silver is a great antiseptic. So great that hospitals are now using silver impregnated sheets and bed clothes to stop the spread of bugs like C-diff etc.
     
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  15. thisismyname09

    thisismyname09 Member

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    In my own darkroom, I've not yet used up an entire gallon of fixer. When it is depleted, however, I plan on using the steel wool method.
     
  16. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    The worst that would happen is they might turn blue.

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Sky-News-Archive/Article/20080641297781
     
  17. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I don't see an option for drinking it.
    Along with selenium, it helps my natural glow, especially at night.
     
  18. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Yes But, my neighbor is using worst poisons, mine is not as bad.

    Just Kidding, I am just amazed at how humans use logic, unless they are just kidding.
     
  19. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    My local Environmental Health Officer's recommendation is to dump it down the drain as the volume is inconsequential. Were I running a minilab then that would be a very different matter.

    Silver is not mercury, nor is it lead. It is simply not accurate to state that all "heavy metals" (I use the quote marks as such a term has no scientific meaning) are dangerous and accumulate in the drinking water and the human body. Iron is a "heavy metal". Try living without ingesting iron and see how long you survive - amongst other things, without iron you would not be able to produce the red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body... Likewise half a dozen other "heavy metals".

    Silver in particular is not very toxic at all to humans - your kidneys will happily process it. It does not generally accumulate in the body and cause problems except in exceptional cases of massive ingestion such as Andy's "blue man" - and even then it just pigments and does no damage....

    The problem from large quantities of silver comes from its toxicity to micro-organisms: it can kill the bacteria that are used to process our sewage. However, the numbers killed by what remains from that litre of fixer that was dumped down the drain has no detectable effect: bacteria reproduce at quite a rate.

    Indeed, that's probably one good reason for not ingesting a lot of silver: around 10% of your body weight is bacteria and a lot of those are very helpful in maintaining digestion and other, often unknown and unresearched, body functions (some are believed to assist the immune response for example). Silver compounds are another matter and I believe just about all are poisonous...
     
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  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    once you "plate" out your silver sludge, do you
    sell it to a plater?
    do you mix it with bleach
    and turn it back into silver? ( was told household bleach will do this ) ...
    or do you put it in the trash ?
    do you have a fume-hood and crucible and blow torch to burn everything but the silver?

    i let my hauler deal with all that.
     
  21. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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  22. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    So that ridiculous usage of silver is why our films and papers are getting so expensive... :sad:

    ... and now I recently even saw an advertisement of deodorant containing silver, talking about wasting precious metals... wonder how much silver is poured down the drain cleaning arm-pits at shower-time :wink::D
     
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  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    once you get your silver sludge, do you sell it to a plater?
    do you mix it with bleach and turn it back into silver?
    ( was told household bleach will do this ) ...
    do you put it in the trash ?
    do you have a fume-hood and crucible and blow torch to burn everything but the silver?

    silver magnet folks ... does it work ??
    how many parts per million does it leave behind?
    (my local regs won't allow more than 3parts / million leave my drain )

    i just let my hauler deal with all that. i used to get a check in the mail,
    but silver prices have dropped over the years and i don't get anything ...
     
  24. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Option not offered. The local university (U Akron, Ohio) offers use of their silver recovery unit to community home darkrooms in an effort to help the community go green. How many home darkrooms are left that know about this? I have been using it since 2004. Two summers I needed to dump when classes were closed. I did not have access to this so I sealed five gallons of spent fixer in a bucket with steel wool. Two weeks later I spread the remainder over our fields. We have a well and septic system.

    Coincidentally we now have giant dragons and crocagators roaming the fields and streams about us. They only come out in the night when it is dark and still and I have been into the sauce.

    John Powers
     
  25. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    You can even buy silver sticking plasters these days: http://www.boots.com/webapp/wcs/sto...storeId=10052&catalogId=11051&productId=17454. I wonder how many of those are sent for special disposal?

    Ps, I should have said silver is a good antibacterial, not antiseptic.
     
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  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    it is andy, they use it for newborns and for burns in an ointment ..
    but it is a very small amount i would imagine ...
    just like selenium is in vitamins and seafood and nuts ( like brazil nuts )
    but not nearly the concentrations that are in selenium toner ...

    too much selenium in your system you get what presents as
    radiation poisoning ... i saw that on "dr house" :wink:
     
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