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  1. #1

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    Newbie from T.O.

    Hello,

    Okay, this is officially my first time in any kind of web-chatting environment (other than e-mail of course...I'm not that analog!). Anyway, I'm a b/w enthusiast, semi-professional type from Toronto. And while I work for the forces of evil by day (I am a technical editor of digital stock photography images) I dwell in my home darkroom by night. My main interest is in b/w children's portraiture...I found this site through a link on Cheryl Jacob's site and was intrigued. I am also interested in alternative process techniques, particularly cyanotyping.

    So, I'm hoping to pick the brains of people within the APUG community about b/w 35mm and possibly MF equipment and processes. I'll start with seeing if anyone has any advice about darkroom work during pregnancy. My husband and I are trying for our second child, and I have some concerns about being around chemicals while pregnant. During my last pregnancy I bought one of those Darth Vader-esque ventilation masks that painters wear, and spent very limited time in the darkroom. However I have since heard that those masks decrease the flow of oxygen to the fetus (which doesn't sound like a safe thing)...does anyone have any other recommendations for pregnancy precautions? I would definitely appreciate hearing input on the subject. I don't want to give up my darkroom for another 9 months!

    Thanks!

    -Sherrie

  2. #2
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Welcom Sherrie,

    This is a great place to do some brain-pickin'. Whatever interests you in analog photography, there seems to somebody here that has done it, is doing it, or is interested in learning to do it too.

    Looking forward to your posts.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  3. #3

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    Thank you! I just realized that I spelled Cheryl's name wrong in my little blurb...so if you read this, sorry Cheryl! I hate it when people spell my name wrong, but then again with a name like Kuehlein, it happens fairly often!

  4. #4
    Sean's Avatar
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    Welcome

    Not sure about the darkroom thing, maybe research with chems are the most gentle then work your process around those chems, also maybe have someone else mix the chem and have a very robust vent system in the darkroom to keep the air clean, etc..

  5. #5
    Aggie's Avatar
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    Hi Sherrie,
    The fumes given off by the normal chemicals you will use in the darkroom to do the silver gelatin are not harmful to the fetus. They are no more harmful than using cleanser to scrub your sink, or vinegar in cooking. I would though use gloves or tongs when working with those chemicals. As for the respirator, you don't need it. With proper ventilation in your darkroom you will be fine. As for experimenting with other chemicals and alt.processes, read the warnings that come with that chemical. As for chemicals to avoid while pregnant do not ingest aspertame sweetened foods. Read the side of a diet soda can and know that the PKU test done at birth is the shortened term for the long term they warn about. OK offr that soap box.

    Welcome and have fun here.

  6. #6
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    The respiator is probably not necessary and the decrease in oxygen is no more than travelling to the mountains. By the way, you should avoid strenuous activity at higher elevations due to the hypoxia involved. Good ventilation should alleviate all risk from inhaled vapors. Gloves and tongs are a very good suggestion as some of the solutions can be absorbed through the skin. Using the respirator while mixing chemicals from powder form is another good idea. I have never heard of fetal problems related to the photographic darkroom, but I have not specifically researched the topic.
    John Harvey
    Colorado Springs, CO
    harveyje@usa.net

  7. #7
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    Sherrie, welcome! Glad you found us here. It's a great bunch of people, and many of them know far more than I ever will.

    Oh, and no worries about spelling -- half the time I type my own name wrong.

    - CJ

  8. #8
    ann
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    I have had several students with the same issues. One of the last was a nurse and she checked with her Dr. who was also a photographer. These are his directions for her. Be sure you wear Nitrile gloves and other than that he did not forsee a problem.

    Individuals vary with how sensitive they are to chemicals and so i always recommend these students check with their doctor.

    On the other hand, i will not allow a pregant woman in my toning classes; these are some of the most toxic chemicals we use and i would rather be safe than sorry. Neither would i let them take a color printing class because of the nature of the chemcials.

    As has been stated, good ventilation, gloves and a stool to sit on to save the legs.

  9. #9
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Welcome Sherie!

    Each of the websites for developing & fixing products (like Ilford & Kodak) have MSDSes (Material Safety Data Sheets) for the chemicals they sell. These should give you an idea of 'what's under the hood' of the chemicals (so to speak).

    The only thing I've seen is that you should wear gloves and use tongs, and work in an area with proper ventilation. And, as Ann said, a stool... definitely a stool. Particularly from the 2nd trimester on!

    I have anti-fatigue mats in my darkroom. The concrete is not too great for standing around on for hours at a time! Those mats help a lot!

    Well, I think you'll really like it here! We look forward to seeing your prints in the gallery!
    Jeanette
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

  10. #10
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWGirl
    Welcome Sherie!
    Oh, Great! I just spelled your name wrong! Dang! Sorry Sherrie!

    Flog me! Flog me!
    Jeanette
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

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