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  1. #1
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    Pyrogallol Stains, Am I Doomed?

    Hi All,

    I was working in the darkroom the other day and had finished processing some film with a pyro formula. I try to keep a clean area and always wash my hands of any chemical residue. Unfortunately, it seems I wasn't meticulous enough for the next day I discovered that I missed a spot on my upper arm and had stains there. It must have been splashed there during a rinse.

    Normally, I immediately wash off all chemistry that contacts the skin. I cleaned it off but I was wondering about the toxicity of the overnight contact. Will the arm fall off? Will I turn into a flesh eating zombie? Well, kidding aside, I'm not sure if there is enough to worry about and I'll just remember to be more diligent next time.

    Any thoughts?
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  2. #2
    matti's Avatar
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    Shouldn't it oxidize fast diluted and after you developed film in it on your arm? Maybe someone can tell what it oxidize into?

    /matti

  3. #3
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    An occasional minimal contact like that is relatively harmless. If you were souping your film with your hands in it all day, no gloves, you'd have cause for concern. I believe it has been posted here before, and I know it's out there on the internet, but one way to tell if you're getting way too much exposure in a single sitting is if you start getting a metallic taste in your mouth even though you haven't been directly ingesting the stuff. Even before that, you'll get tingling sensations in the limbs that are in contact with it. Pyro has a degree of toxicity; it isn't cyanide, 5 molar sulphuric acid, Nicotine or VX (yes, nicotine is a very potent poison. 60 milligrams is a lethal dose!).

  4. #4
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reassurance. I didn't think my exposure level was critical. It was a heavily diluted working solution (1+100) and it was during the rinsing that I was likely splashed.

    Good to know that I'm not doomed. Now, if only I can get away from people that smoke.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  5. #5
    tim_walls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapshot View Post
    Thanks for the reassurance. I didn't think my exposure level was critical. It was a heavily diluted working solution (1+100) and it was during the rinsing that I was likely splashed.

    Good to know that I'm not doomed. Now, if only I can get away from people that smoked.
    Or, you could just do what I do. Smoke like a chimney, and then you can handle all your chemicals with the impunity that can only come from knowing you're doomed anyway .

    (Or, to put it another way - better to live a short life that's full of the things you love, than a long life spent avoiding doing anything...)
    Another day goes under; a little bourbon will take the strain...

  6. #6
    Sanjay Sen's Avatar
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    Hmmm, so FC you are saying that I should wear gloves when tray-processing my negs in Pyrocat-HD? Now, why didn't that occur to me?! I never wear gloves while souping my negs, can't seem to work with those darn things on.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjay Sen View Post
    Hmmm, so FC you are saying that I should wear gloves when tray-processing my negs in Pyrocat-HD? Now, why didn't that occur to me?! I never wear gloves while souping my negs, can't seem to work with those darn things on.
    I use Nitrile SafeSkins with textured fingertip surfaces. No problems handling my wet 8x10 sheet film with them.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  8. #8
    gainer's Avatar
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    Develop a love for things that do you no real harm.
    Gadget Gainer

  9. #9
    Tony Egan's Avatar
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    If you spill pyro on whitegoods it seems to be indelible. I was careless about 2 years ago and found a long brown streak down the front of my washing machine the morning after a darkroom session. Nothing I have tried can remove that stain!

  10. #10
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Occasional small scale contact as you had is considered harmless. Those who don't use gloves with pyrogallol are asking for liver damage and dimishing eyesight, among other known effects. The toxicity in solution, and especially in dillution, is minor, but repeated long term dermal absorbtion that is easily avoidable is simply stupid.

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