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  1. #11

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    It's not the blix or the stabilizer that can cause problems. Rather it is the color developer. The developing agents used can be skin irritants in sensitive indiividuals. Gloves are strongly recommended. There is nothing in the chemicals used in either process that will make you sick unless you drink the solutions.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

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  2. #12
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    It's what's known as" suffering for your art"
    Ben

  3. #13

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    There was the mention of the gloves being irritating. That could be because of reuse and having disgusting things growing inside unwashed gloves. Or it could be due to re-use of contaminated household style gloves (which are thereby no longer clean where they contact you). Or it could be due to using latex gloves, which are both not proof against photographic chemicals and can cause an allergic reaction themselves.

    For colour materials and for toning I'd suggest single-use nitrile gloves, sold as nitrile examination gloves by your local pharmacist. They are ridiculously cheap and are thin enough to use comfortably.

    It is also sensible to fix equipment leaks and figure out how to avoid splashes, simply as good lab practice to avoid cross contamination in your processing. Ventilation is wise, for long-term comfort if nothing else. There are no standard chemicals that will cause you to drop down dead - it seems more a case of possible long term reactions with repeated exposure over years of daily use. This is easy to prevent, so it seems foolish not to avoid the small risk.

  4. #14
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    Is my home color killing me? lol

    I think have a low-level latex allergy: they're irritating to me if I wear them for more than a few minutes, so I can relate. I use nitrile or vinyl gloves instead, with no problems at all. Wearing gloves is cheap insurance that I'll be able to continue my photographic pursuits for a lifetime.

  5. #15
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    I would reconsider, if possible, the entire practice by switching to one-shot solutions (you breath much less chemicals that way, I do believe), laboratory pipettes or syringes to mix chemicals, ventilation of the darkroom. When I mix my chemicals I never happen to touch them and I now forget about apron, gloves etc. as I find that attention in manipulation is key. Have space at your disposition, always make gentle, slow movements. Never "park" a flask near the edge of the furniture. Immediately close the flask after dilution (before agitation) etc.

    Breathing "fumes" is probably my greatest intake of chemical rubbish but generally speaking an open window will dilute vapours from my already diluted (one-shot) baths. I suppose the worst case is when developing prints, by staying in fact with your nose just over the chemicals. That I think would certainly require a thought-about ventilation.

    Chemicals used for colour developing are not so poisonous that single events might give problems (wounds apart). Just wash immediately, and don't drink. It's the continuous small contact (fumes, or drops from a hasty preparation) that is probably to be considered mostly.

    And do label any bottle with the content.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
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  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    It's what's known as" suffering for your art"
    Just to add to the humour, the post next to this on the list at the moment is "Itching" to get into large format

    pentaxuser

  7. #17

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    I'm not sure if color chemicals are more toxic than BW chemicals. But it is always recommend to use safely precautions. This is particularly important if you have contact with the chemicals on a regular basis (daily). The things you can do:

    Avoid direct contact withe chemicals;
    Wear gloves in mixing chemicals from powder or concentrates, some even wears goggles with liquid concentrate
    Wear gloves and/or use tongs when developing in open tanks
    Chemical area must be ventilated to the outside
    Clean spill immediately and thoroughly.
    Avoid hand contact with eyes, nose and mouth.
    Wash hands immediately if get contact with chemicals
    Wash hands thoroughly after each darkroom session with soap

    For casual users, the darkroom chemicals are safe. But the safety procedures should be followed.
    A photo amateur
    Sinar P2/F2/Nikon F100/Bronica ETRSi/GS/Saunders 4550XLG/Jobo CPP2/CPE+/Colorline 7000

  8. #18
    Athiril's Avatar
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    They sell disposable nitrile gloves at the supermarket here, look into that.

    Also depending on the stabiliser, that's the one I'd worry about, as the agent can be carcinogenic. Though think most home kits just use hexamine, but that can decompose to formaldehyde anyway.

  9. #19

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    I use the gloves that you can find at supermarkets and Home Depot, like the ones you use to wash dishes. They are medium thickness, not sure if latex or rubber. Easy to use in handling chemical mixing and bottles. Since I use rotary tanks and drums, I do not even get in contact with the chemicals.
    A photo amateur
    Sinar P2/F2/Nikon F100/Bronica ETRSi/GS/Saunders 4550XLG/Jobo CPP2/CPE+/Colorline 7000

  10. #20
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    In decreasing order of toxicity for both C41, RA4 and E6; Color Developer, First Developer, Stabilizer, Bleach, Blix, Fix.

    The developing agents are the baddies in any developer but they are only bad if you get them in an open cut, or swallow some from a finger or under a fingernail for example. The stabilizer has ingredients that kill bacterial and fungi and therefore are mildly toxic if you inhale or swallow some. From there on down, the blix, bleach and fix are almost harmless unless swallowed. The Iron can give you a liver problem if you swallow too much and the silver (in used fix or blix) can be a problem.

    These chemicals are really not that toxic if you work with them. I know of a lot of old guys around town that made a living for years with these chemicals. My neighbor used to make B&W developing agents in his lab for years.

    PE

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