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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    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 ? .
    Absolutely, but £250 is a lot of money. I'm merely making suggestions should cost be an issue.

  2. #22
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I use a ventilation fan in my darkroom, originally designed for machine ventilation it's about 6 inches across, runs at quite a high speed and shifts all the fumes from the wet bench area. I've a baffle system to keep it light coming in. These fans aren't expensive, mine are 240v but they are made for other voltages.

    You must exhaust the fumes so negative pressure, preferable from by the wet area so fresher air is drawn into the darkroom and then across the wet area.

    I mix powder chemistry in a larger room with no need for ventilation, there shouldn't be any significant dust, a simple face mask is enough if you think it's necessary.

    Ian

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    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 ? .
    Quote Originally Posted by jerry lebens View Post
    Absolutely, but £250 is a lot of money. I'm merely making suggestions should cost be an issue.
    Just thinking after a couple of beers on my walk home, the fans I'm talking about are less than £20 new from RS Components or Maplins (both in the UK), they shift enough air to keep a darkroom well ventilated. I had mine from an old ICP machine that I scrapped.

    Another option is the bathroom (toilet) extraction fans, they are commonly available and cheap.

    Ian

  4. #24

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    I use a computer fan exhausting to the outside through a simple light trap. It's not a huge airflow but it's enough to keep the smells down. It's also gentle enough to not cause much dust movement.

    (I do choose chemicals that smell less than acetic acid stop bath and most fixers which smell of SO2 or ammonia.)

  5. #25
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_s View Post
    I use a computer fan exhausting to the outside through a simple light trap. It's not a huge airflow but it's enough to keep the smells down. It's also gentle enough to not cause much dust movement.
    The fans I'm using are similar just a little more powerful, the range begins with the smaller computer fans.

    Ian

  6. #26

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    Thanks for all the suggestions!
    All the ventilation and heating conduits of the house go through the room where my darkroom is, so I think it wouldn't be too hard to get some fresh air coming in. I may also use the window for sucking polluted air outside.

    One last thing: Can someone give me a definite answer to my original question, which really pertained to the respirator I have. It's got cartridges against organic vapors and acid gas and a particle filter. Is it the right kind? How useful will it be with and without ventilation?

  7. #27

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    I'll take an oblique stab at it: I think it's a step in the right direction and it is what I do when I mix chemistry and when I' toning prints. I chose the same cartridges as you on the advice of the occupational safety person at my University. He told me that for normal darkroom work I did not need it as the ventilation was more than sufficient.
    Although I have good ventilation in the darkroom I use (at a University), I still use face mask/respirator (and safety glasses/goggles) because I feel the difference and mostly, I feel safer.

    I have no other place to mix powder chemistry or do the toning steps which stink to high heaven, so I
    feel that a mask and safety glasses are a good insurance.

    As others have suggested, in your case, a respirator will not be enough; you need some air intake and exhaust - it doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. Get a copy of the "Darkroom Handbook" - it has sensible and affordable suggestions with diagrams on how to make it work.
    Last edited by Renato Tonelli; 07-11-2011 at 10:33 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Sp

  8. #28

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    Alexandra, you need to find the Material Safety Data Sheet for the chemicals in use. this will tell you the hazardous materials. From this, you then look at the cartridge manufacturer's recommendation for use. Sorry I can't be more specific. Learning to track down this info is a useful skill, anyway. I don't know what the Canadian equivalent is, but the US versions should all be available on the internet.

    In general, the cartridge sounds right. Go over the respirator instructions. One simple thing to remember- if you can smell the chemicals with the respirator on, either the fit is wrong or the cartridges are shot. To test fit, cover the exhaust port with your hand and breathe out softly. Air should not escape from the edges of the mask.

    Some chemicals have minimal or no smell. As I read about one chemical I used in certain painting operations, 'dont worry what it smells like because if you can smell it you're already toast.' Again, you need to know the specific chemicals you are dealing with!

    Keep a respirator in a sealed plastic bag between uses. This will keep the cartridges from being worn out by atmospheric pollution and chemicals.

  9. #29

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    If you told us what the cartridge number is, that would help a whole lot. You can also call 3M and ask them directly, go to www.3M.com/OccSafety all the info on their carts is available, and then you can call.

    With or without a respirator, without replacement air, you could deplete the oxygen content eventually and pass out if you are in there for too long. All depends on how leaky the room is and the size in cubic feet.

    Way too many unknowns to give you valid advice, except add ventilation.
    Bob

  10. #30
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I've used those or similar respirators when spraying chemistry industrially, and gone one step further when spraying liquid emulsions using an airline respirator fed from outside the room.

    However they aren't needed in a normal darkroom, a simple fan venting the fumes is better, and quite efficient.

    Ian

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