Sulfur toner chemical fog

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by pstake, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. pstake

    pstake Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I made the mistake today (and also once before — last week) of toning a print in my darkroom with all my paper stored nearby. I afterward read several references to the fact that sulfur toners such as the sepia toner I was using, which smells like rotten eggs, can chemically fog paper.

    I'm mostly calm. At least on the surface. My girlfriend says I look "distracted."

    I have several packages of new paper that can not be easily replaced.

    Can anyone tell me if there is a simple test to look for chemical fogging? I did take two scraps, one from my metal paper safe and one from inside the lightproof bag inside a box, and place them in developer. I didn't see any fogging in the form it usually takes in my experience, cloudy gray.

    Anyone who can set my mind at ease before I stay up all night running tests on all my paper?
     
  2. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Don't worry about it. Just don't do it any more. No harm done.
     
  3. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,789
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Vir
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I keep my paper outside the darkroom, for that very reason. Still, I've done some toning with the paper in the darkroom, without a problem. It was only for about an hour, and the paper was about 7 feet away from the toner. I wonder about the cumulative effects, though. I think PE, Gerald, and others would know.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,220
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm quite sure that the paper's packaging provides a lot of protection.

    Storing paper where there is a lot of sulfur in the atmosphere would be problematic.

    As would leaving paper behind a light baffle that isn't also a barrier to the movement of air.
     
  5. clayne

    clayne Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Many people do this. Don't worry about it. Your papers are not fogged.
     
  6. pstake

    pstake Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks, everyone. I'll let you know if I have any negative effects. And I WON'T be toning in the same room as my paper, anymore.
     
  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    5,442
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Best to leave the paper in the darkroom and do your toning someplace where there is plenty of ventilation. Hydrogen sulfide is a very poisonous gas that has caused the deaths of many sewer workers in the past. The toxicity of H[SUB]2[/SUB]S is comparable with that of hydrogen cyanide or carbon monoxide. It is particularly dangerous since it first dulls the sense of smell so that people are not aware that the gas is still present in dangerous amounts. Small amounts while they may not reach toxic levels can cause a nasty and persistent headache.