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  1. #1
    ernie51's Avatar
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    Prescysol vs. pyro safety issues

    I am interested in trying a staining type of developer. My concern is that of my health and welfare. I know pyro developers can be tricky IE. Chemical burns and ventilation to prevent inhalation. The Prescysol developer tech sheet online just has the standard warnings for chemical use. I won't use pyro but how about Prescysol ? Any info or advice appreciated...Dennis
    "All I want is a warm bed and a kind word, and unlimited power."[FONT="Verdana"][/FONT]

  2. #2

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    If you buy a pre-mixed staining developer the risks go way down. It is the powder floating in the air that is the most problematic.

    Have good ventilation, as you should do anyway in any darkroom.

    On the View Camera web site in the Free Articles section is an article about the dangers of staining developers. Suffice to say that with even reasonable care, proper ventilation, and buying the pre-mixed developer, the dangers have been overstated. I know more people who've had a problem with Metol than with a staining developer. Metol can cause a skin rash but I don't hear people giving warnings about it.

    If you are interested in staining developers get a copy of The Book of Pyro by Gordon Hutchings. You can get it from Bostick and Sullivan or the Photographer's Formulary. In the same section of the View Camera site is an article describing how a staining developer works

    There are a variety of staining developers. Those of us who use any of them feel there are many advantages.

    steve simmons
    www.viewcamera.com

  3. #3
    lee
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    prescysol looks like an off shoot of Pyrocat hd to me. I do know that the part B chem is the same. I suspect that the maker of Prescysol copied the receipe of Pyrocat and renamed it.

    lee\c

  4. #4

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    Well Dave Miller and several other users of Prescysol are still in good health or as well as can be expected for people of their age( sorry lads - had to get that one in!). I think if Prescysol which is two pre-mixed liquids which you add to water were to be a problem, we'd have heard of it by now.

    pentaxuser

  5. #5
    ernie51's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve. I guess it's a question of proper practises in the darkroom. I think it's the skull and crossbones on some of the pyro ingredients that concerned me. I'm thinking of using the pre-mixed Prescysol EF as it seems to have a slightly less toxic make up. My other concern is that I have a septic system, but from what I understand these chemicals are for the most part organic in the way that they breakdown. Any reason for concern here ?
    "All I want is a warm bed and a kind word, and unlimited power."[FONT="Verdana"][/FONT]

  6. #6

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    Again, I am not sure that when properly used a staining developer is any more toxic than a non staining one, or any less environmentally friendly.

    It is amazing how much myth and BS gets put out about these developers. I have seen threads so full of misinformation that it makes me wonder.

    Anyway, get a pre-mixed solution, vent your darkroom as you should anyway, photograph and enjoy.

    steve

  7. #7
    ernie51's Avatar
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    Even with precautions there are risks. Certainly life without risks would be boring. It's like the old story. Ask the photographer "Would you give up one of your two eyes for consistently perfect negatives, or would you be satisfied with average negatives, keep both eyes, but have to wear glasses for the rest of your life ?"
    "All I want is a warm bed and a kind word, and unlimited power."[FONT="Verdana"][/FONT]

  8. #8
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    If you look for them you will find a number of exhaustive threads on this issue here. Folks who swear by staining developers make very strong cases that their proper use is no more hazardous than D76. The question for me is why do you want to use such a developer. Are your photogrpahs lacking in a way that you think a staining developer will remedy?

    I choose not to use chemicals that pose what I perceive to be a risk. I don't give a rat's rump about the counter arguments...staining developers will not make me a better photographer period!! Learning to see with greater sensitivity and the courage to take the photograph other's might not choose to take is a far more difficult and worthwhile path for me to pursue. I've concentrated on a particular, and generally successful set of procedures that tell me unequivocally whether or not I've made a worthwhile image. There are no magic bullets!
    John Voss

    My Blog

  9. #9

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    I choose not to use chemicals that pose what I perceive to be a risk.

    All chemicals pose a risk. It is just a matter of balancing the gains from the downside. As I said, I know more people who have had a problem with metol that can cause a severe skin rash.

    Staining developers seem to create an intense emotional reaction among some people. In these cases it is sometimes with those who have a negative reaction but who have never tried one. Would it make you a better photographer, who knows.

    steve simmons

  10. #10
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    It's all up to you in the end, Ernie. Personally, I mix my own Pyrocat HD. I'm careful, wear a mast when I mix it, have decent ventilation, and I've never had a problem. There really isn't much to it. If you're still not comfortable there's plenty of pre-mixed developers out there and they are all capable of producing excellent results. Good luck whatever you decide. All the best. Shawn

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