Cotton shorts or sweatpants and a ratty old black t-shirt (chosen mostly so I don't act as a fill-in reflector during printing!). A nitrile or vinyl glove on one hand for handling prints during processing, which I can deal with one-handed at the sizes I print now.
No goggles, just my glasses. As a related aside: I remember in school us 4-eyed folks always being exempt from wearing the big safety goggles in high school chemistry and wood/metal working classes because "our eyes were already covered". I'm sure OSHA/HSE would get all grumpy cat about that these days, so that might not be normal any more. But, the practice stuck with me.
For some of us it sounds like a SWAT team outfit with steelheader's waders over it might be appropriate. I just use an old Kodak apron (cuff at the bottom to trap anything that runs down), but have never had a serious splash. Also nitrile gloves (for selenium toner). I no longer mix powders. Dark shirt for enlarging.
Full body condom ala Woody Allen.
Sounds like Emma Peel meets Quatermass :D
Originally Posted by pdeeh
Health and safety gone mad. The thought of wearing safety glasses in a darkroom and destroying your peripheral vision, you will probably trip over and break your leg.
no chance of that in mine, it's 3 feet square
Lots and lots of great comments. Mostly old street clothes, some aprons, those of us who wear glasses pretty much consider that enough, gloves; some do and some don't. It depends on the chemicals and their level of comfort.
The acetone is used in Carbon Transfer as an alternative to alcohol in the sensitizer.
I've had two accidents, many decades ago, the first was from putting marbles in a glass jar to displace air, and the other was a split in a plastic accordion squeeze container. The bottom of the glass jar fell off when I picked it up and the plastic container, which was made for photo chemicals, split at an outside fold and the contents sprayed out. Both times I didn't see it coming.
It's difficult to cover every situation but common sense and appropriate protection seems right.
Specifically, deliberately, and in particular I use no safety glasses, no respirator, no lab coat, and no gloves. From years as a laboratory bound analytical chemist I reckon safety is the outcome of steady and systematic work practices. The only concession I make is to use bamboo tongs to avoid contact with chemistry not from fear of poisoning but to avoid cross contamination of processing solutions. BUT:
Some people should wear spacesuits in the darkroom. They are that messy. I remember a student darkroom that, after a year or so of activity, had selenium toner stains up the wall behind the sink and on the ceiling 6 feet above the enlarger bench. What the hell went on in there I don't know!
Very good point, Maris. And I've seen some crazy things in chemistry labs (never mind the forensic lab). Being careful does make a big difference. And the more careful I am, the less cleanup there is.
The one accident I had was while making blood agar for microbiology. I wasn't wearing a lab coat and picked up a beaker to swirl it a bit and see if the powder on the bottom was dissolving. The beaker (1 liter) broke just above the bottom and all the agar got dumped down between the bench and me. It was a Perth Hockey sweatshirt, too. :( Not that it would have been saved by a lab coat.
Lab coat, goggles, gloves etc would not have saved me from my worst laboratory accident.
Operating an atomic absorption spectrophotometer with a nitrous oxide plus acetylene flame for titanium analysis involves starting with air plus acetylene and then quickly turning a valve to bring on the NO. When I did that the nebuliser chamber exploded and caught fire. But worse was to come. The nylon lines carrying acetylene and nitrous oxide caught fire and started burning back toward the high pressure cylinders. It is said that one must never run in a laboratory but I ran with the cylinder keys and shut the gases off just before the flames got to the regulators. Phew!
What cause? A colleague had emptied the water trap because it looked dirty. The watertrap supplies back pressure so the flame comes out of the burner rather than striking back inside and exploding. Moral? Work slow and steady, check everything, assume nothing.