I've been working in darkrooms for almost my whole life, and it wasn't until I began working 40+ hrs a week as a job as a lab tech, that I started to wear gloves. The chemistry eventually did me in (the color stuff is particularly foul)--but even with the gloves, I eventually developed contact dermitis--the culprit at this point was not the E6, b&w machine chemistry, selenium/sulfide toners, dektol, rapid fix or the b&w deeptank line I run & maintain. It wasn't having to clean rollers in our processor, or mixing up chemistry every week or running tray lines or cleaning the silver recovery unit. It wasn't using Latex gloves (which I've switched to vinyl or Nitrile now after hearing the OSHA reports on latex alllergy alerts)--in the end it was the pHisoderm cleaner just about every lab I've ever worked in has used at their sinks. I had to do a process of elimination with my doctor to figure this out. My hands & wrists broke out in scaly rashes that eventually broke open at my knuckles & every little small crease and oozed fluids & bled. It took me almost 4 mos. to get over it. I still use a corticosteroid creme & have to minimize wet time on my hands and religiously wear gloves for the deeptank line, use tongs & disposable gloves for tray use & chem mixing, clean-up and find myself using machine processors more and more....

So, it only took about 15 yrs for this to happen to me, but it's what I do for a living as well, and hopefully will continue to do so. PHOTOFINISH might not bother you--but it dries the hell out of my skin. I clean our deeptank with it monthly. I'll use it to neutralize chem if I spill it on my bare skin as well--it's great for stop bath--but I avoid it in general to use like a soap.

For me, one of the best reasons to wear gloves besides keeping chemistry off off my hands & arms, is well, actually to keep it off my skin and from being transfered around the darkroom and in a worst case onto dry negatives or finished prints....where I work, we don't handle negatives without wearing white cotton gloves or Polygenex gloves, we don't handle prints that are artifacts without wearing gloves either--and 95% of the artifacts are handled with gloves as well--the exception being items where you need the tactile feel to handle them safely. So, another way to look at gloves, if not for your safety is the safety of the items around you....

KT