Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
The developing agents are the baddies in any developer but they are only bad if you get them in an open cut, or swallow some from a finger or under a fingernail for example.PE
PE, I've got to lean on you a bit about this, because so many here trust you explicitly. You are dismissing the skin sensitizer aspect, which can have pretty bad consequences. I've spent a lot of years with large photofinishers and have seen problems, even with best attempts to head them off. I've seen people go out of work for weeks until their skin healed, and who had to leave their processing jobs because they could no longer be near the chemicals. Granted, it is a very small proportion of ALL the people in those jobs, but...it could end up being anyone here.

I'm going to quote excerpts from a Kodak 'Z' manual, one of the bibles of photofinishers. It's Using KODAK EKTACOLOR Chemicals, Z-130 01/12 (page 1-12)

Dermatitis is the medical term used to describe a skin inflammation. Contact with some materials, such as acids and bases, can cause irritative contact dermatitis, while other chemicals, such as photographic developers, may cause allergic contact dermatitis.

Early symptoms of irritative contact dermatitis may include dry, red, cracked, or scaly skin at the site of contact. Symptoms may worsen with continued chemical exposure. In most cases of allergic contact dermatitis, the symptoms are itchy blisters similar to those seen from exposure to poison ivy or poison oak. Although the rash is usually confined to the site of contact, most often fingers, hands, and forearms, it may spread to other areas. Sometimes people can work with a chemical for years without any noticeable effect, only to develop contact dermatitis at a later date. The time between contact and when a response develops varies widely among individuals.
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To prevent contact dermatitis when handling photographic processing chemicals, follow these guidelines:
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Wear the proper gloves. Do not use gloves sold for household use; they may not be durable enough for handling photographic processing chemicals. Neoprene or nitrile gloves protect you from photographic processing chemicals. To minimize the possibility of chemicals coming in contact with your bare hands, rinse gloves thoroughly with water before taking them off....
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In case of contact with chemicals, wash your hands or other affected skin areas immediately with plenty of water. Wash with a mild soap or pH-balanced cleanser (like pHisoderm or pHotoDerm).
I had read all of these precautions previously, but when my boss, who had freely handled developers for 10 years, picked up the allergy, I changed my ways! If he entered a mixing area, and turned a doorknob, the next day his hand looked like a poisin ivy reaction. I didn't want the same thing happening to me (and fortunately it never has).