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  1. #11
    BradS's Avatar
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    Hmmm, so...I guess I should really buy a set of print tongs then? Is it really so dangerous to move prints with bare fingers? Am I jeopardizing my health?

  2. #12
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    Let's hope the U.S. is too ionvolved with staying out of recession to follow this path.

    I first put my hands in MQ developer about 1937/ Still no effects that are obvious to me or my doctors.

    For you youngsters out there, MQ developer was sold in a double ended glass tube. It contained metol and hydroquinone.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    Hmmm, so...I guess I should really buy a set of print tongs then? Is it really so dangerous to move prints with bare fingers? Am I jeopardizing my health?
    I've seen quite a few answers to this question. The most often-cited health risk is of an allergic reaction to metol (or to contaminants that are common in metol -- I've seen conflicting claims and counter-claims on that score). Hydroquinone is also, as this thread shows, not without risks, but my impression is that the risk is low for a typical low-volume home darkroom user. OTOH, I'm not a chemist or health professional, so you should really listen to what such people say rather than to what I say.

    If you're concerned about the health risks of dunking your fingers in hydroquinone-based developers, you can wear gloves and/or switch to a developer that doesn't contain hydroquinone. Agfa Neutol Plus (note the "Plus;" other products in the Neutol line are completely different) and the Silvergrain Tektol line are two hydroquinone-free print developers; both are PC (phenidone/ascorbate) developers. (I've no idea why Freestyle lists Neutol Plus as an ORMD item; AFAIK, it's pretty mild stuff.)

    There are also lots of mix-it-yourself PC developers you can try, if you prefer to go that route. Formulas such as DS-14 (a mix-it-yourself predecessor to Tektol) were designed from the ground up as PC developers. As a general rule, it's also possible to substitute phenidone for metol (use 1/10 as much phenidone as metol) and sodium ascorbate for hydroquinone (I don't recall the substitution ratio offhand) in MQ formulas. Results might not be identical to what the original MQ formula would produce, but they'll be similar.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    Hmmm, so...I guess I should really buy a set of print tongs then? Is it really so dangerous to move prints with bare fingers? Am I jeopardizing my health?

    Hydroquinone is used as a skin lightener. There is evidence to suggest it's carcinogenic (but hasn't been proved in humans), cause a condition known as Ochronosis where your skin darkens and thickens or, you could permanently damage the melanosome (what gives you skin its colour) permanently causing white areas.

    From what I've read on skin bleaching bearberry, cranberry and products that contain arbutin also produce hydroquinone in the body. Which leads me to wonder if this has more to do with the cosmetics industry and a tightening up of regulations (apparently some dematologists still use hydroquinone based creams) rather than an outright ban.

  5. #15
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m. dowdall View Post
    ???
    I.e.:

    Now that film is not the dominant medium of photography anymore, the amount of hydroquinone used to develop film across the world is falling. Why is Canada worrying about HQ now instead of having worried about it twenty years ago when everything pictorial was run on silver photography? It seems to me like yet another instance of our slow-to-the-party-but-well-intentioned-anyway attitude.
    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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  6. #16

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    Why is Canada worrying about HQ now instead of having worried about it twenty years ago when everything pictorial was run on silver photography? It seems to me like yet another instance of our slow-to-the-party-but-well-intentioned-anyway attitude.
    It's not just hydroquinone under examination, but whole classes of chemicals that entered widespread use without any evaluation of their effects on human health. In other words, they're not worried about hydroquinone in particular, it's just on the list.

    In any case, it seems unlikely that it'll be listed for elimination; the requirements for that are quite high. You can see the CEPA 1999 bill here, and the requirements for elimination are in 77(4), as follows:

    (4) Where the Ministers propose to take the measure referred to in paragraph (2)(c) in respect of a substance and the Ministers are satisfied that
    (a) the substance is persistent and bioaccumulative in accordance with the regulations,
    (b) the presence of the substance in the environment results primarily from human activity, and
    (c) the substance is not a naturally occurring radionuclide or a naturally occurring inorganic substance,
    the Ministers shall propose the implementation of virtual elimination under subsection 65(3) of the substance.
    The draft report already notes that hydroquinone isn't bioaccumulative, and that human activity isn't responsible for the release of any significant amount of HQ to the environment.

    I think the worst we can expect is some increased handling and reporting requirements for industrial use (they're already subject to this, so it'd be a change in degree, not in character), and for consumers and hobbyists, some extra warning labels, and at worst, a restriction on dumping to untreated sewage systems.

    i.e. don't panic.

  7. #17
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    it's an off-the-shelf drug taken in darker-skinned cultures - consumed, apparently, in massive quantities - with no ill effects... about the same as vitamin-C, it would seem. if that. I liked the response that this old bavarian guy who ran a photo shop in my home town in canada (who sold me my first linhof, when I was 22) had to say on the issue; "what's the big deal...? it's only soda water...!" (we were talking about fixer)

  8. #18
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmatt View Post

    i.e. don't panic.
    If you write it in big, friendly letters, I promise I won't!
    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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  9. #19
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    it's an off-the-shelf drug taken in darker-skinned cultures - consumed, apparently, in massive quantities - with no ill effects... about the same as vitamin-C, it would seem. if that. I liked the response that this old bavarian guy who ran a photo shop in my home town in canada (who sold me my first linhof, when I was 22) had to say on the issue; "what's the big deal...? it's only soda water...!" (we were talking about fixer)
    According to the MSDS, a relatively small dose (29g/Kg) of Hydroquinoe taken orally has caused death in at least one human.

  10. #20
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    According to the MSDS, a relatively small dose (29g/Kg) of Hydroquinoe taken orally has caused death in at least one human.
    That's not a small dose. I'd need to eat about 3 kg (6 1/2 pounds) of hydroquinone to equal that dose. I can't eat a steak that big.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

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