Thanks for the detailed response; however, the principal issue is respiratory exposure, thus my emphasis on ventilation systems. I'm not concerned about mixing chemicals as spills can be cleaned up without problems.
Originally Posted by Worker 11811
We have the same issues with our biology labs. It used to be we could do blood typing in labs, but because of HIV and, more importantly, hepatitis C, we cannot do that because those are biosafety level 2 agents and we don't have time to adequately train students in a general biology (or even anatomy and physiology) course such precautions.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
In that situation you're choosing the lesser of two evils. Parents don't object when you do Potentially Bad Things to little Johny when he's sick. When he's healthy, they don't want you to do anything to him. I deal with this every semester when I talk about vaccines and how they DO NOT cause autisms.
To continue, several textbooks on the toxicity of chemicals have far overstated the toxic nature of many photographic chemicals and chemicals in general. The one that gets me is having EDTA classed as toxic to extremely toxic, but in reality it is used as an intravenous treatment for heavy metal poisoning to chelate the metal taken into the body and to allow it to be excreted. I just cannot see this being used intravenously if it were so toxic.
I fight the battles for vaccines and evolution. I'll let you handle the chemistry.
So, as an APUG member, go out and at least try to do your bit for Science and Technology in the HS systems across the country.
I'm 100% with Photo Engineer on this one.
There is a modern trend toward alarmism and an overestimation of actual hazards. I noticed this years ago when I was a consultant for Eastman Chemicals (the chemical engineering arm of Kodak). As the "hot-line" guy I would get 'phone calls about developers, stops, and fixers from spooked amateurs. In the 9 years I did this work I can't recall a single unequivocal case of photographic chemical injury to anyone anywhere anytime. In truth the people at most risk were in the professional processing labs where they actually handled stuff like glacial acetic acid. Amateurs could not (and should not) get stuff like this in bulk without an appropriate chemical handling ticket, a hazmat clearance, and a training course. The big pro labs had eye wash stations, safety showers, spill control kits, antidotes, and "disaster" procedures. I made sure they did. Home darkroom formulae were specifically made in small packages with a big safety factor in mind.
I suspect that corporate "chemical" anxiety is driven by the concerns of accountants and lawyers who look after a company's bottom line rather than the safety of users who might sue for injury actual, imagined, or misdiagnosed.
And don't get me started on the real chemical hazards that endanger the public: laundry bleach, toilet cleaner, dish washing detergent, drain cleaner, oven cleaner, headache tablets, and so on. Every year I'd get urgent calls from paramedics asking about toxicity and antidotes. The victims were nearly always children; tragic, tragic, tragic. As for darkroom workers, nope, not even one.
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.
Why not caffeinol (coffee, vitamin C, washing soda) and a water stop bath?
I also agree with PE, unless you start drinking the stuff you're ok.
When I was a kid, my parents bought me for Christmas a "Tri-Lab Pak," a science lab kit so named because it covered geology (rocks/minerals), biology (microscope with slides), and chemistry (chemicals with elementary experiments). I was dismayed to find that because of the perceived danger of the chemistry portion, all the chemicals had been tossed out beforehand, leaving me with just some rocks and a crummy plastic microscope. I guess getting into film photography and darkroom thirty years later is my way of getting revenge! ;-)
"Embrace the negative with absolution, your final positive reward." --IQ, "The Province," Frequency
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Wa wa wait.....what do you do with your spent developer? I've been drinking Pyro for years!
Originally Posted by Jeff Kubach
On a side note: being recently out of HS (6 years ago), I learned how to process my own film from my chemistry teacher and in order to appease the nanny state, he mixed the fixer under a hood and we simply used it in tanks. That was his workaroung.
I can appreciate your POV about relative harm using say, EDTA or Hypo, but they really are low in toxicity. CA has banned Thiourea as it has been found by the state to be a carcinogen, but it is present in many common wildflowers found along the road. One mile of road may contain as much Thiourea as most solvent developers or fixers or toners. Thiocyanate is banned because people think it it is a Cyanide poison. (It is but only by cooking at fusion temperatures).
During WW2, many processes for the war industries used a new solvent called Acetonitrile. Everything was fine, but BEFORE they changed the name, it was called Methyl Cyanide and the workers refused to touch it. So, it was given a trivial name.
Kodak workers were as healthy and as sick as the general populace here in the US. We suffered more from stress than chemicals.
I do think though that taking active steps to maximize ventilation in the darkrooms and workrooms is important - not so much because of the chemicals, but instead because of the deleterious effects in general of poor ventilation.
No comment from me about the other benefits of good ventilation when one is dealing with small rooms filled with teenagers .
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Maris. Thi is an old story about glacial aceitic acid. I graduated High School during the Ford administration. On the way home from my last day I stopped at the lab and and made a long term loan of a gallon bottle of glacial aceitic acid. The chemistry teacher ordered it for us earlier in the year. I had stop bath for years. The bottle was glass and very thick. I took it home on the subway and no one would have any idea what it was. If I tried that today I'd get locked up.