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  1. #1

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    Shelf life of Selenium Toner working solution

    I discovered some selenium toner working solution while cleaning out my school darkroom for the summer, and since it is dated May 2003, I wonder if it is worth keeping or should I discard it. I have plenty of concentrate. The solution hasn't been used much: perhaps 4 large prints were toned at the time I made the batch.

    Any ideas out there?

    Thanks,
    Holly Gettings
    Belmont Hill School

  2. #2

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    I keep the working solution for ages, but not 2 years! It seems to go on working forever. When it becomes too slow, I chuck it. Try it on a scrap print....or smell for the ammonia smell. If the smell aint there its dead. It'll cost peanuts to mix fresh, so why not chuck it anyway?

  3. #3
    ann
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    just test it and see what happens.

    when getting rid of selenium toners, we place a couple of old prints in a tray and let them sit there for about a week.

    Putting active selenium back into the environment is not a good thing, IMHO

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ann
    just test it and see what happens.

    when getting rid of selenium toners, we place a couple of old prints in a tray and let them sit there for about a week.

    Putting active selenium back into the environment is not a good thing, IMHO

    Does anyone know what the consequences are to discarding selnium toner? Pouring things into the soil is generally much more sensible than down the plug hole I would imagine.....

    I realise selenium is an element and in trace quantities rather important to stave off death, but in the form of toner, what harm does it cause if discarded? Ansel seemed happy to dunk his hands in it...can't say I have ever felt the same way.

    Some say the smell is of ammonia and that the selenium itself does not get airborne/gaseous. True or false?

  5. #5
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
    Does anyone know what the consequences are to discarding selnium toner? Pouring things into the soil is generally much more sensible than down the plug hole I would imagine.....

    I realise selenium is an element and in trace quantities rather important to stave off death, but in the form of toner, what harm does it cause if discarded? Ansel seemed happy to dunk his hands in it...can't say I have ever felt the same way.

    Some say the smell is of ammonia and that the selenium itself does not get airborne/gaseous. True or false?
    Mine goes on the roses.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  6. #6
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
    I realise selenium is an element and in trace quantities rather important to stave off death, but in the form of toner, what harm does it cause if discarded? Ansel seemed happy to dunk his hands in it...can't say I have ever felt the same way.
    Ermmm... might be a good time to point out that Ansel is dead. Oh sure, maybe all those chemicals leaching into his skin had nothing to do with it, but hey! Why tempt fate?? haha

    I'd be interested to know how your experiment turns out with the old selenium toner, Holly!
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Miller
    Mine goes on the roses.

    So that's how prize winning roses with 800 petals are made!

  8. #8
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    Can't speak of the safe disposal, but the ammonia smell is courtesy of the ammonium thiosulphate that is part of the formulae. Presumably, as the fixer oxidizes or otherwise dies, so too will the speed of toning?

    Bob.

  9. #9
    ann
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    things are relative, we use a lot of selenium so i would rather error on the conversative side. I have heard of using the "spent" toner on the roses, and i trust Donald and his informtion.

    There are a lot of products on the market that we use daily that contain selenium with no side effects; however, toners contain very toxic chemicals so better safe than sorry.

    Do i worry if i splash some selenium on my person; of course not, but i do use and expect my students to wear nitile gloves.

  10. #10
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I agree with Ann , do not dump selenium down the drain.
    As a matter of fact when my lab was checked by the city environmental officers , selenium was not advised to be dumped even into the recovery systems. The company that recovers the silver from our unit has given us separate bottles for selenium capture which they take away.

    This topic always comes up and I for one would love to hear the straight goods on photographic disposal.
    There seems to be quite a few brainiacs on this forum with degrees in chemistry . Would not one of our esteemed experts take on a project to sort out the do"s and don'ts of chemical removal .
    I am not one of these experts , but since using a large volumne of chemistrys I would like to know more. I think I am disposing saftley but I am not totally sure.
    I do wear gloves with selenium (I do not know why) and I don't in Dectol (once again I do not know why).
    I think a list of our common ingredients and theirproper usage and disposal for printing negatives and toning would an excellent article.

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