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  1. #1
    matthew001's Avatar
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    What is the proper respirator for darkroom use?

    I had a terrible reaction to chemicals a few months ago (12+hours/day for a solid week) with ventilation. To prevent that again I want to purchase a respirator with the proper filters. Any suggestions? I was looking at 3M's masks but I'm not sure what filters are the best for this.
    Sincerely,
    Matthew


    Horseman L45 || Rolleicord VB || Mamiya RB67



  2. #2
    winger's Avatar
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    It would help to know what kind of reaction and what chemicals. 3M masks are good, but each is designed for different types of chemicals. If you email them with the chemical, they may be able to help you. Grainger also has a help group that can help pick a filter, but only 9-5 on weekdays, I think.

  3. #3

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    Without knowing which chemicals you were using and more importantly, which caused the reaction, it's not easy to pick the right defense.

    For example, acetic acid vapours are excellent respiratory irritants, but that can be remedied by switching to a different stop bath.
    Bob

  4. #4
    matthew001's Avatar
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    Respitory Irritation and severe nausea. I was using standard Sprint developer and fixer.
    Sincerely,
    Matthew


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  5. #5
    matthew001's Avatar
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    I will be using the following chemicals as I am getting into non-silver printing:
    Ferric Ammonium Citrate
    Tartaric Acid
    Silver Nitrate
    Sodium Thiosulfate
    Citric Acid
    Gold Chloride
    Ilford ID-11 Dev.
    Ilford Rapid Fixer
    Sincerely,
    Matthew


    Horseman L45 || Rolleicord VB || Mamiya RB67



  6. #6

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    Sprint MSDS data for:

    Film developer

    http://sprintsystems.com/msds2011/MSDS_FILM_2010.pdf


    Print developer

    http://sprintsystems.com/msds2011/MSDS_PRINT_2010.pdf


    Fixer (Rapid)

    http://sprintsystems.com/msds2011/MSDS_FIX_2010.pdf


    Possible symptoms for exposure to the ingredients of each of these products is described in each file.

  7. #7
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    A side issue, but really the main issue -- sounds like your ventilation is not very good. It is not a matter of how much air one is passing through the system, but where your head is in relation to the flow of the air. If the fumes from the trays pass by one's head on their way out of the room, then it is like having no ventilation at all.

    A fume hood can be a simple thing to set-up for mixing chemistry, or when using a particularly nasty chemical -- a few sticks of wood and plastic to form a box with an open side to work from, and the air sucked out the back and to the outside. I set up something like this when using acetone.

    Another source of nasty chemicals with alt processes is blow-drying coated paper. I now have asthma from blow-drying platinum/palladium paper. It took 5 years for it to show up...not too bad, but I have it. Blow-drying the coated paper kicked the platinum dust into the air and into my lungs. I started to wear a simple dust mask and stopped the immediate effects, but still put the platinum dust into my working environment. I now just air dry the coated paper (tacked to a wall with a gentle fan blowing on the paper for a couple hours (High RH) -- and even feel that I am getting better and more consistant prints this way..

    But good luck with your printing and your health.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    You don't need a respirator but you do need good ventilation and a good extractor fan preferably close to the wet side of the darkroom.

    In the past I've had to use an air-line respirator but then we were spraying emulsions and chemistry but that's grosss overkill as is a respirator for normal uses.

    Ian

  9. #9
    matthew001's Avatar
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    Thanks for that, the symptoms match up perfectly. I should have went to the hospital. I'm not sure how to prevent this, would a hardcore filter like this http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...BC31gv%29&rt=d work?
    Sincerely,
    Matthew


    Horseman L45 || Rolleicord VB || Mamiya RB67



  10. #10
    matthew001's Avatar
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    It is a college setting - I cannot modify the ventilation in the room, nor can my professor. I don't mind overkill.
    Sincerely,
    Matthew


    Horseman L45 || Rolleicord VB || Mamiya RB67



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