An air conditioner blowing in cool clean air would be an improvement. It could just be on fan rather than cool if needed.
I have a hepa air cleaner in the darkroom too. If the basement is naturally damp, your darkroom could be accumulating moldy/musty air which can also cause reactions; it would to me.
Mostly I just get liquid chemicals. Liquid concentrate equivalents are available for most products or for competing products. I mix up powdered chemicals outdoors when necessary.
It is bad practice to be mixing anything in the darkroom. Spilt powders, if not thoroughly cleaned up, can land on various surfaces and cause problems later with film and papers. Liquids dry out and become powders causing the same problems. Do your mixing in another well ventilated room.
Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 07-10-2011 at 12:01 AM. Click to view previous post history.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Please, get active ventilation. You need fresh air. And you need air without chemical powders in it. Along with the internal and lung issues, some photo chemicals can create skin allergies with prolonged exposure. Sure, a respirator with cartridges is better than nothing, but they are also uncomfortable after longish periods.
The best way to do this in a darkroom is what they call 'positive pressure' ventilation. Meaning that you are pushing air into the room, creating positive pressure compared to the outside. You filter the incoming air, and this keeps things clean. If you try negative pressure, pulling air out of the room, then dust and such is going to keep crawling in through cracks, etc.
Since you will be moving, get an industrial squirrel cage fan from a place like Grangers. Build a box with filter for the intake. Either mount the box on the wall and punch through the wall, or use a hose or sheet metal tubing. There are all sorts of vents and fixtures to run such hoses through walls. Depending on how air-tight the room is, you might want to put a vent for exhaust in the door, say. Passive, shrouded to prevent light leaking in.
Now you can yank this fan and hosing and take it along to your next place. Quick to patch in the present place if needed.
But do get active ventilation. It can take years for allergies or lung problems to develop, and when you are young you are immune and going to live forever, but you are already on your way to a chronic condition if you don't deal with proper ventilation. There are good reasons ventilation is ALWAYS part of a darkroom. It takes a little work and a little money, but you can make a unit that will work for decades and move with oyu.
Just buy a darkroom extract fan http://www.vent-axia.com/range/t-ser...oom-model.html they are light tight, change the darkroom air ten times an hour and any electrician can install them.
The site doesn't say how much that marvel costs though... Do you remember in what price range it was?
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Positive pressure ventilation: A fan blowing filtered air INTO the room.
Fresh, clean, oxygenated air coming into the room will push dust, dirt and chemical fumes OUT.
Wearing a mask, even if it is a full-fledged S.C.B.A., will only help you a little bit because those chemical fumes and vapors are still in the room with you. Some chemicals can be absorbed through the skin. Standing around in "polluted" air is just as bad for you whether you are wearing a respirator or not. A fan will purge the room air of any undesirable substances.
Be sure the fan blows INTO the room. Be sure the fan has a filter to trap dust before it is introduced into the room. This way, all the dust, dirt and anything else will be blown away from the room. If the fan blows the other way, you will exchange the air in the room but it will also tend to suck dust INWARD through every crack and crevice.
Positive pressure ventilation gives you two things: Clean lungs and clean negatives!
The 6"" model is about £250 in the UK but I suggest you phone or email this Canadian company http://comfortagencies.com/content/t...s_darkroom.asp to enquire about price availability and delivery.
Originally Posted by Alexandra
I used to work for a heating and air conditioning engineering company, and these are what we actually installed in hospital darkrooms.
Last edited by benjiboy; 07-10-2011 at 11:19 AM. Click to view previous post history.
As somebody who had to retire from teaching because of dust inhalation problems (although not in a darkroom context), you must take care of your lungs.
However, those Vent-Axias tend to be very expensive. As others have said, positive pressure is the best solution and an in-line fan with flexible ducting - as you get on clothes dryers - may be the answer, if you can't fit anything permanent. But, if you can't do that and you have a window, then you could at least create some kind of ventilation by building a light trap with, say, plywood.
You shouldn't really be creating much dust when you mix up powdered chemistry. Using small amounts of powder from larger containers is liable to create dust - so don't do it! Mix up large amounts of stock solution, to dilute at a later date. Cut open the sachets of powder under water in a bucket or similar. This should prevent any dust escaping.
Better still, use liquid chemistry - it may cost more but your lungs are irreplaceable.
The window is your simple answer.
Get a piece of 1/2-5/8" plywood slightly larger than the window. Build a frame of 2x2's which will fit in the window and screw it to the board. Paint the inside flat black.
Get a bathroom fan. Disassemble it as far as possible and paint it flat black.
Mount it on the board, with an appropriate sized hole, so that it will blow air in, not out.
A simple cheese cloth filter can be used to filter out dust. The outside air you will be bringing in will likely have far less dust than the air in the garage anyway.
Build a simple light trap over it to eliminate light entering.
The reason for blowing air in rather tha exhausting it is this method blows dust out through all the cracks you don't realize are there.
I hope this description is adequate. I have had a similar system in my darkroom for more than 20 years and it works beautifully.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]
Jerry, If care of ones lungs is so important isn't it worth spending what the proper device costs that will definitely do the job instead of spending money and effort on trying solutions to the problem that might or might not work ? .
Originally Posted by jerry lebens
Last edited by benjiboy; 07-10-2011 at 12:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.