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  1. #1
    Perry Way's Avatar
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    Respirators for the darkroom

    I've got a nagging tickle in my throat, and a cough lasting about half a week again. I'm suspecting it is chemistry related because the last time I had this I had caught a few small whiffs of selenium or sodium sulfite or bleach a few days earlier. So here I am now rewinding and replaying the last few toning episodes in the darkroom, thinking the cough is related to the chemistry. Let's just assume for the moment that it is related.

    So, my questions pretty much boil down to these three:

    What kind of respirator should I get if my concern over my health means price is not a factor?

    What kind of respirator should I get if I need to buy something I can easily afford?

    Is there a possibility that an adequate respirator could be found for darkroom purposes that is also easily affordable?

    I'd like to hear from experienced people if that's possible!
    I love the wilderness and I love my trail cameras, all Fuji's! :) GA645, GW690 III, and the X100 which I think is the best trail camera ever invented (to date).

  2. #2

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    You can use a diving helmet like the one they used in 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.

  3. #3

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    Use the outside supplied air masks which are used by welders. They are made by 3M

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    Just hold your breath for a long time!

    Jeff

  5. #5
    AgX
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    Basically you have four options,

    -) a mouth/nose or full-face mask driven with pressurized air (as fire-fighters use them)

    -) a mouth/nose or full-face mask fitted with a filter cartirdge of the dust- or gas-filter type (looks like a gas mask)

    -) a helmet with extensive face-shield under which presurised or just filtered air is blown (as used by some welders)

    -) simple mouth/nose mask of the fleece type (a bit like surgeons wear, but preformed). There are types with high fltration, padding/sealing at the nose and breathing valve to comfort exhailing. There are types even graded for cancerogenic dust. There may be activated carbon inserts too.


    In your case it seems to be an issue of vapour.
    Last edited by AgX; 07-28-2010 at 03:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6

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    Here you go– http://www.mcmaster.com/#respirators/=85sqn6

    I don't think you need to get too carried away, but it is good to take this issue seriously. One of the more efficient disposable respirators I think are adequate for darkroom use. They are what I use when mixing dry chemicals, some of which are not so good to breathe.
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  7. #7
    Barry S's Avatar
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    I've been using a respirator since I started handling hazardous and toxic materials for wet plate. I have an MSA Comfo II with cartridges that remove particulates and organic vapors--it seems to work well for everything. I use it for weighing out CdBr and KCN. I think the mask plus cartridges cost me about $35 via eBay. Here's a link for the mask, but I'd recommend some better cartridges.

  8. #8
    AgX
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    Another option may be the construction of a suction unit that drags off vapours at the level of processing trays etc.

  9. #9
    fotch's Avatar
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    Maybe you can find a government surplus suit left over from the outer space program? Maybe just consult a kitchen or heating contractor for a good darkroom ventilation set up.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    Maybe you can find a government surplus suit left over from the outer space program? Maybe just consult a kitchen or heating contractor for a good darkroom ventilation set up.
    That was going to be my suggestion: Anyone think of a fan?

    You do want to protect yourself from respiratory damage (temporary though it might be), but too elaborate a respirator is going to reduce your enjoyment of using the darkroom in the first place.
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