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  1. #1
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Is my home color killing me? lol

    So exactly how toxic IS the chemistry used for C-41 and E6? I was using disposable gloves but i found them irritating and when I ran out I didn't feel like getting more.
    I guess the biggest worry is the blix and the stabilizer? I've gotten both on my skin and into small cuts, as it's an invariable feature of my "day job".

    Is this incredibly stupid, kinda so/so stupid, or is the toxicity and cancerous nature of these chemicals slightly hyped by hippies, the EPA, the state of California, etc?

    If it helps i'm using an Arista E6 kit, Unicolor C-41 kit, and Kodak Flexicolor III Stabilizer for both.
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

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    Comment deleted for my idiocy...

    I think I'll be banishing myself from here for a while, because I feel ashamed at what I said...
    Last edited by TexasLangGenius; 11-13-2012 at 01:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Typical digital zombies say: "Adapt or die!" "The world is changing, change with it!" "Analog is old and nasty! EEEEEEEWWWWWW!" "Why should I pay money for getting my pictures when I can have everything NOW?" "Why shoot manual when you can have the camera do everything automatically?"

    Primary 35mm camera - Pentax K1000
    Secondary 35mm camera - Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL - M42 Mount
    Medium Format: Mamiya RB67

  3. #3
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    I imagine that chemicals entering open wounds would have fairly serious repercussions on a repeat basis, if not immediate. I'm surprised to learn of that happening. Extractive ventilation is also a critical consideration

    TexasLangGenius


    You wouldn't worry about it? And you don't exactly explain just why, nor do you explain how or why cancer is caused or your strange, dislocated judgement.

    I think a number of factors can prevent cancer, even if exposed to the materials.
    Go on. I'm all ears.

    I have a background in oncology medicine and immunology through allografting (transplantaion). Cancer is an attack at gene level and cannot be counter-attacked by hitting it with a feather, or whatever else you might want to imagine as effective against it. Perhaps give your commentary a bit more considered thought based on truth and science and not populist opinion.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  4. #4
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    After I noticed, I rinsed the cut with water very well. However there were no immediate repercussions, and as of yet no long term ones. However, I'm trying to prevent any severe consequences. It's happened more than once, but how many times I can't say. Just trying to eliminate any long-term health hazards. I'm doing this all in a small mud room sink that doesn't really have any ventilation, but I was more worried about direct skin contact. Thinking about it, maybe I should be more concerned about ventilation? I can't very well do this outside, and my options are limited.
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  5. #5
    Muihlinn's Avatar
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    Get a processor, wear gloves only once when loading/unloading the stuff and forget about fiddling with chemicals and darkness all the process long.

    I'm not much into how toxic it is, as home color processing never got me, but a friend of mine used to develop paper without gloves dipping fingers to pick up the prints (RA4) and after a while he had a truly severe allergic reaction wose treatment lasted more than a year long. He wasn't able to touch anything without pain and had to wear cotton gloves all day long for such time. I'd go with gloves.
    Luis Miguel Castañeda Navas
    http://imaginarymagnitude.net/

  6. #6
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EASmithV View Post
    After I noticed, I rinsed the cut with water very well. However there were no immediate repercussions, and as of yet no long term ones. However, I'm trying to prevent any severe consequences. It's happened more than once, but how many times I can't say. Just trying to eliminate any long-term health hazards. I'm doing this all in a small mud room sink that doesn't really have any ventilation, but I was more worried about direct skin contact. Thinking about it, maybe I should be more concerned about ventilation? I can't very well do this outside, and my options are limited.
    Any cut no matter how small or large must be protected from the ingress of chemicals, not necessarily those limited to darkroom use. Oils, greese, washing powders, dishwash... it's a long list, can all present quite serious skin and blood problems if they are repeatedly allowed to get in. Yes, wearing gloves is a splendid idea, discarding them after each session; not a great many people give consideration to skin safety when working in the darkroom, but I think they should. A mud room sounds romantic, sort of: do you mean wattle and daub/mudbrick? But no ventilation, well... something might need to be done there; inhaling fumes routinely used in the darkroom isn't going to do you much good long term (emphysema is one complication from long exposure to inhaled chemicals, but there are many, including benzines and polyaromatics that are chiefly the culprits). But you'll sort something out and come up trumps — you did so with your website!
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  7. #7

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    I think if you are really concerned then you have to wear gloves if you are dealing with colour chemicals. I used to suffer from small splits in the skin on my right hand only which is the hand I used to agitate colour prints in the nova deep-tank processor. The developer was OK but the bleach fix was pretty savage stuff and it felt like a hot pin had been stuck into my fingers when splashes got to the splits.

    Except for things like selenium toner I don't think that there are any problems with chemical smells although some find them objectionable. With selenium there is a warning on the concentrate anyway about using it in confined spaces.

    When in their working solution strength photo chemicals are pretty benign so long as they are not ingested and if you do, (I would say unlikely except in an accident) it is a pretty stupid thing to do anyway.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by EASmithV View Post
    Is this incredibly stupid, kinda so/so stupid, or is the toxicity and cancerous nature of these chemicals slightly hyped by hippies, the EPA, the state of California, etc?
    It's kinda dumb, not that it's immediately dangerous to you, but because you might develop such a severe skin sensitivity that you won't be able to work with color chemicals again.

    The color developers are considered to be "skin sensitizers." That is, you might handle the developer daily for who knows how long, and then suddenly, one day, your hands start to itch, get red and irritated, and the skin gets cracks. After a few days away from the chemicals, it starts to heal. But the next time, even a year later, you so much as touch a doorknob contaminated with developer, the reaction comes right back.

    I don't see any recent recs, but it used to be recommended to wash hands thoroughly with a low pH soap after handling developer. So I think this is always a good practice if you can find a proper soap. (Phisoderm used to be the standard, but I'm not sure if it's a low pH product anymore. Nearly all conventional hand soaps have a higher pH.)

    After many years in high volume processing, I've only seen a couple people develop the allergy, but they had to change jobs because of it. Perhaps it will never affect you, but why take the chance?

    ps: we always liked those disposable blue nitrile rubber gloves.

  9. #9

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    Is my home color killing me? lol

    I haven't moved to colour yet but even with black and white I have a big 100 pack of disposable gloves and use a new pair each time.
    I'm not convinced that an occasional dabble is going to wreak havoc on me but there are certainly things in photo chems that I would rather not soak my skin in.
    Disposable gloves are a cheap precaution, I would use them.
    Think of them like condoms....you might never have a problem but if you do you'll wish like hell you took precautions!


    Besides, your hands don't stink of chemicals for hours afterwards...

  10. #10

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    Dear EASmithV,

    Please don't be the guy they point to as the example for making home processing chemicals illegal. ;>)

    Neal Wydra

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