I use tongs for prints (gloves for 16x20, which happens rarely anyway) and gloves to develop film. Even though I only use daylight tanks, they all leak just a little and I just can't stand having wet hands. Once I hit the washing stage, I remove the gloves, which leaves me with clean hands that don't have chemicals on them for the washing and hanging end of the process as well. I use the purple nitrile gloves from Kimberly Clark - that's what we used at the lab and I know the mediums fit me and that I can do fairly detailed things with them on if need be. If I haven't been sweating, I can take them off in such a way that I can put them back on. Otherwise, they come off so that the outside won't come in contact with anything else.
Dokumol contains only Hydroquinone as listed developing agent.
Originally Posted by pentaxuser
Thanks. So what do you need to do with hydroquinone to irreversibly damage your health? You might get skin dermatitis but this, it would seem, might irreversibly damage your chances of doing darkroom work again but is unlikely to leave you with permanent skin damage if you stay away from the chemical.
Tetenal cannot be referring to drinking the stuff surely?
The safety data sheet says:
-) assumed to can induce cancer
-) assumed to can induce genetic defects
These warnings are worst case scenarios. But all further threats make it seem a bad idea to have skin contact with it.
Yes, that's all that's listed on the bottle - presumably the formulation is a shade more complex than that but the other ingredients don't warrant a health warning.
Originally Posted by AgX
I haven't previously heard in photographic literature about HQ causing health problems, but I see there is quite a debate on the web (e.g. here) because it is widely used in cosmetics as a skin whitener!
Metol of course is notorious for causing dermatitis in some people, though I read somewhere that this had been shown to be due to impurities, not to the metol itself.
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It is my belief that many of our product warnings are there because of some politician wanting to show that he's all about protecting the public. I recently saw a warning on a hair dryer that said "Do NOT Use in Shower!" Here in Germany, where they make Tetenal products, I can't even walk into a store and buy rubbing alcohol, I have to go to an Apotheke and ask for it. The nanny state seems to be very much in charge. They use vinegar for clogged drains, and from what I understand, they don't use bleach in the wash because it enters the waste stream.
I personally don't wear gloves. I develop my sheet film one at a time, and transfer from one tray to the next with my hands. I also use my bare hand printing. Over the course a year, the total cumulative time in the chemicals is maybe 2-5 hours, with no single instance being more than about 5-10 seconds. In between transfers, I dip my hands in water and dry them with a towel. The only problem I have is that when my fingers have small cuts, the fixer will locate them for me! I'm allergic to most metals, even in jewelry, and have no problems.
The issue seems to be that if 1 person has reported trouble, it has to go on the label to prevent lawsuits. Many folks develop a sensitivity to Metol, but not all, and others develop severe allergies to it. Hydroquinone is used in makeup, and fixer is used in a variety of medical and other applications. For most people there are no problems, but it makes sense to protect yourself where possible, or where issues are likely to arise. Risk mitigation is good in theory, and in practice! I don't mix from powder, where other concerns can be raised, but have contacted concentrate without ill effects.
I would suggest everyone evaluate their risk aversion, and make their choice on what they find tolerable levels of risk. Don't judge the bottle by its warning label alone. Research the chemicals and make a choice based on a realistic assessment of the risk, not a political or legal message.
Sorry if this is too long or makes no sense!
BTW, I also literally saw a warning label on a curling iron that said "For External Use Only." Really? That seems to make sense...
Those safety data sheets are made up in a uniform way and will not take into account the usage of that chemical.
The manufacturer editing a label has to find a way to warn of practical threats and still not overlook the general threat an igredient may yield.
I know at Apug are several members who developed an allergy so that they had to stop some processes or even darkroom work at all. So take those warnings of skin contact serious.
I had a set of wooden tongs given to me with a contact printer from an old family friend who could have been mistaken for Ansel Adams and loved to play family Santa. (His life was dedicated to being a rockhound). I love the way developer leaves a soft brown glow, and the fix a sharp white accent. Over the years, they vanished but I made a set for myself and they have the same familiar character.
I occasionally use them for nostalgia's sake. When I use tongs, I am careful not to immerse my fingers in the trays. That prevents cross-contamination. I also don't recall having a big problem with my hands getting chemicals on them.
But these days I am a vinyl glove and towel user. My gloved hands can be in the solutions, I rinse them off and towel dry until every drop is gone between the folds before touching any dry paper. The towel rack was a valued add-on to my sink, and the towels are replaced a couple times a session "just to be on the safe side".
Worst case, a hole gets in the glove and your hand is wet inside, seeping fix through the hole onto the dry paper in the enlarger. I am more paranoid about this than safety to my hands. I immediately discard/replace that glove and wash my hands.
I believe this will keep me from becoming sensitized to Metol, because my hands aren't soaking in the stuff. Just an occasional splash that gets washed off.
One of the issues that MSDS cause is that people unfamiliar with the process will look at the wrong things. When I was looking for someone to take away my used chemicals (I have a septic tank and a well), they wanted the MSDS. When I spoke with them, they were only concerned with the citric acid in the stop bath - the silver that would be in the fixer (and the only "real" problem, imo) wasn't an issue to them at all because they didn't understand the process. Never mind that the percentage of acid in the stop is probably less than that of orange juice by the time I'm done using it. And they charge me the same for the developer/stop barrel as they do for the fix one.