Transporting Photgraphic Chemistry on Public Transportation

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jwil6969, May 12, 2009.

  1. jwil6969

    jwil6969 Member

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    I live in New Jersey and would normally drive into NYC to purchase chemicals at BHPhoto rather than paying shipping for heavy liquids. To make these trips worthwhile I would purchase a couple of gallons of whatever I needed. The trip into New York can depending on traffic be a pleasant (???) run or a nightmare. So I got to thinking about taking the train into the city. That caused an alarm to go off in my head and I decided to contact NJ Transit to see if there were any regulations about transporting photographic chemicals on a public train. The last thing I wanted was to show up carrying bags of chemicals and be denied boarding or worst.

    I provided a list of the chemicals I would would normally purchase and received the following answer. I could transport a maximum of 2 gallons each of the following: DDX, Silvergrain Clearwash, Hypam Fixer, Harman Toner Selenium. Could not transport Rodinal due to it's hazard level.

    Please note these are the chemicals that I use and the approved or disapproved list is probably more extensive. I was interested in those listed. I had to provide the Hazmat Police unit with the MSDA sheets for each of the chemicals. They are concerned with leaks that may develop and what is involved in clean up. Also, potential fumes and skin contact. They thanked me for following "proper protocol in regards to seeking permission for the transportation of photographic chemicals". So there are apparently rules that are not made public unless you ask.

    Yeah, I know I could have showed up and got on the train and maybe made it to my stop with no problem. On the other hand I could have ended up as an item on the News at Six program.

    You may want to keep my experience in mind if you are using public transportation when you purchase chemicals where ever you live. If they have such regulations in New Jersey, they probably exist where you live.

    While the train would be more convenient I will probably drive in and really stock up.
     
  2. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    This is a train for god's sake. Who's going to stop you? There's no TSA.
     
  3. eworkman

    eworkman Member

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    I know you meant well, but I couldn't get the picture out of my mind "Take this train to Cuba- I have Rodinal and I know how to use it"
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Stay tuned for breaking news! Film at eleven!
    :munch::munch::munch::munch::munch:

    Steve
     
  5. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    oy
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Here, I'm pretty sure you could take a moose on the train, at least once, anyway. As a matter of fact, hygienically speaking, some of the people on the trains here are far more hazardous than any chemical I might care to lug with me. Just the other day there was a guy who I know was at least flammable, and very likely toxic in proximity.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Maybe they are worried about how long the Rodinal would last if you spilled it.

    Matt
     
  8. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

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    Is this a case of someone being hornswoggled by the shriekings of the didjiot crowd claiming that traditional chemical photography is evil... ?

    Reinhold

    www.classicBWphoto.com
     
  9. Mike Té

    Mike Té Subscriber

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    I wonder if they'd let me carry a family pack of Drano on the transit system? How about a small bag of charcoal for the barbecue, with a small bottle of starter? Or a gross of wooden matches? These items could easily be picked up on my grocery run.

    I do understand your intention and interest (and thanks for your research on the subject). Personally, I don't generally go asking questions like that in case the authorities say "No". They would probably never even think about the issue otherwise. I tend not offer the authorities the chance to be authoritative.

    I'd rather not disturb them from their donut break.
     
  10. Kvistgaard

    Kvistgaard Member

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    Interesting. Let me add that I recently carried a couple of kilogrammes of raw chemicals for D76 through Heathrow Airport (London, UK), and got them on my plane as part of my baggage. I flagged it to the personnel when checking in, and they did not even bother to ask about hazard levels etc.

    Even more intriguing, as I moved the chemical plastic bottles from their cardboard box to my bag, i was left with an empty cardboard box and nowhere to bin it. Again, I asked airport personnel what to do with the box, and they told me to put it on the floor, as it would picked up by the cleaners. So: Raw chemicals admitted onto a plane, an empty (but you could not really know that, could you?) cardboard box sitting on the departures terminal floor. So much for tight airport security!!
     
  11. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    You'd feel right at home around here. And it's an hour and a half trip from my supplier to home to enjoy the enforced company of these folk.

    I regularly carry chemistry on the train, the heaviest being the 5 litre fixer.

    The worst mess that I managed to create was the result of dropping a large plastic barrel of Greek olives, which fractured immediately and spilled pickling fluid along the corridor as I exited--I've felt bad about it since, and it's made me extra careful even if the Ilford fixer is pretty shock-proof.

    (No, I have no photographic technique employing olives)

    Regards - Ross
     
  12. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    I know someone who bought a substantial jug of Ferric Chloride, which is used to etch copper printed circuit boards. Managed to drop it on the steps out of the Kendall Square subway station in Cambridge, MA. Apparently it did quite a job eating up the aluminum friction treads on the staircase. They've long since been replaced, but the cement steps do look somewhat swollen. (That could be salt damage.)

    Rodinal is a pretty strong base. Might react nastily with steel or aluminum railway vehicle. Airlines are certainly very concerned about chemicals that could corrode aluminum, or make a hole in it! Powdered chemicals aren't likely to do that, but there are plenty of liquids that will.
     
  13. domaz

    domaz Member

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    I think the best rule to live by in this case is hope they don't ask and don't tell.