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  1. #1

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    Selenium toner (Ilford) question

    Hello,

    I know selenium toners are toxic, but how much toxic? I first ordered, and then withdraw from order selenium toner because I don't have well ventilated darkroom. That is, there is one ventilator, but I am not sure how efficient it is.

    There is one option, that is when spring (end of winter) come I will selenium tone my prints on my balcony, but till then...

    Oh, by the way, is there any problems when selenium toning old prints, that is, is there some limit from time of making prints till time of selenium toning that print.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by haris; 10-09-2007 at 01:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Selenium is absorbed through the skin or by ingestion (eating) so you'd be fine with it.

    You can tone later if you want to but personally I find it easier to do it as part of my normal processing sequence.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    Thank you Ian.

    I will wear gloves and can wear mouth/nose mask, I am also worried about fumes which will rest in room, because my darkroom is actually my bathroom, and of course I am not only user of it
    Bosnia... You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps...
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  4. #4

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    You're using a cannon to kill a fly. Selenium toner doesn't smell that badly when diluted to working strength. The worst is a faint smell of ammonia from the ammonium thiosulfate in the prepared solution. A bathroom ventilator is more than enough to clear the space of any smells. Gloves or tongs are recommended, but the mask is superfluous to say the least.

  5. #5
    Stephen Frizza's Avatar
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    If I were to never use gloves and let selenium toner soak on into me what are the symptoms of selenium poisoning? is it just a skin irritation etc or is there something more sinister? does the chemical filter out of your body in time of love you and linger?

  6. #6
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    The selenium itself will not affect you unless you touch or ingest the toner. The fumes come instead from ammonia gas that is released from the ammonium thiosulfate present in the toner.

    We're not talking about massive exposure, but ammonia is not good for your respiratory health, so ventilate when you tone!

    As for selenium ingestion: as is the case with most metals, the human body need tiny traces of it to survive. Garlic, mushrooms and broccoli are all good sources of selenium. Too much can kill you, but the only really dangerous form of selenium is powder. Apparently AA dipped his hands in his toner all the time, and that's not what killed him. But for the price of nitrile glove, I would keep myself clean. There are already enough crap in the air around us that it's stupid not to take basic precautions.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Steve, selenium is supposed to be a poisonous metal, but actually a lot of people have selenium deficiency so take tablets with.

    Its not that poisonous its just a case of taking care, a bit or your hands probably does very little if any harm, it would take a long time to diffuse into your body anyway.

    So as long as you wash your hands well, I use the cyanide & other poison method if I've had my hands in contact with it. Wash your hands then wash the taps in case you left a trace on them then wash your hands again. I do that to prevent it getting on food I might handle later

    Ian.

  8. #8
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    an ounce of Common sense works fine.... do not drink it!

    The smell is ammonia so a bathroom ventilator should do fine, but if you want use a spaguetti container to tone. You'll do it blind so test for completion of toning (15- 20 min should do) and use a quite concnetrated solution and do not mix with HCA.
    Then replenish every so often with fresh concnetrate, and if slush forms at the bottom filter with a coffee filter and keep going. that way it lasts months.
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    Thank you all.
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  10. #10
    ITD
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    Quote Originally Posted by titrisol View Post
    Then replenish every so often with fresh concnetrate, and if slush forms at the bottom filter with a coffee filter and keep going. that way it lasts months.
    I've often wondered about this - if you just keep replenishing it, and never discarding, won't you eventually end up with gallons of the stuff?

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