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Thread: Pyrocat safety/cleanup

  1. #1

    Pyrocat safety/cleanup

    I have been using pyro now for about 6 months as a main developer. I have always worn gloves, don a long sleeve shirt/coat and try to limit exposure as highly as possible.

    That being said I've started wondering if Pyro is spilled is there a proper protocol for neutralizing the dangerous parts? Is simply warm soapy water enough? I usually take a small steam cleaner to the floor after I'm done just in case anythings been spilled.

    I wonder if vinegar or baking soda may deactivate any dangers. My fear is that if I were to spill on the floor and it dries, What if someone walked over it barefoot? Would dry pyro potentially be harmful?

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Pyrocat safety/cleanup

    Yes, dried pyro could be harmful.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  3. #3

    Re: Pyrocat safety/cleanup

    Oh an additionally. Once the Pyro has been used to develop film, does it become any less or more dangerous? I believe I read once the developer interacts with the emulsion it becomes neutralized and that it wasn't as dangerous as straight from the bottle.

    I've looked all over the internet but haven't found a satisfying answer.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Re: Pyrocat safety/cleanup

    Isn't Pyrocat, pyrocatechol ?
    You can always look up the MSDS using pyrocatechol or if the container has a CAS number use that to get a MSDS
    or more info on accidental spill procedures.

    Found this -

    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/81-123/pdfs/0109.pdf

  5. #5

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    Re: Pyrocat safety/cleanup

    There should be an MSDS sheet available for all photographic chemicals.

    In the case of Pyrocat HD Freestyle has a link to the PDF.
    My phone won't let me post the link.

  6. #6

    Re: Pyrocat safety/cleanup

    I have read the MSDS but there is not such mention of a means to neutralize this substance. The spill portion of the MSDS says only to wipe up or sweep spills no additional steps are listed.

  7. #7

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    Re: Pyrocat safety/cleanup

    It should be the same for getting on your skin.

    If it doesn't list anything else then it must be considered as Non Hazardous.

    I do have a transportation of dangerous goods book in my car.
    I will see if pyrocatechol is listed in it.
    If it is I will let you know what it says, if not I won't.
    I don't expect it to list anything related.

  8. #8
    Old School Wayne
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    Re: Pyrocat safety/cleanup

    I doubt the emulsion neutralization rumor is anything more than rumor. I'm no chemist but I've never heard that said for any other reducing agent, so I highly doubt its true for p-cat.

    Having said that, I don't think you need to worry about "neutralizing" spills, you just need to clean them up good. There shouldn't be anything left for a barefoot person to step into if you clean it up good. Make sure the area around your wet space is spongeable/ moppable. Don't have it carpeted, like I do (which I shouldn't, but I don't use pyro/pyrocat either).

  9. #9

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    Re: Pyrocat safety/cleanup

    Spilled working solution is far less dangerous than spilled concentrate for obvious reasons, but in either case, no, you can't "neutralize" the toxicity of catechol by throwing vinegar or bicarbonate on it. All that does is decrease alkalinity. If you spill liquids containing catechol, clean it up the way you would clean other messes, and with extra water rinsing. As an aside, catechol is not quite the same as pyrogallol as far as toxicity goes, but it still needs to be treated with respect. Working solutions are quite dilute, and there is no need to wear a hazmat suit when developing film with Pyrocat.

    A few extra precautions should be taken if you are mixing from scratch using solid catechol. Powders can create dust, and catechol has a high vapour pressure.

  10. #10

    Re: Pyrocat safety/cleanup

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    Spilled working solution is far less dangerous than spilled concentrate for obvious reasons, but in either case, no, you can't "neutralize" the toxicity of catechol by throwing vinegar or bicarbonate on it. All that does is decrease alkalinity. If you spill liquids containing catechol, clean it up the way you would clean other messes, and with extra water rinsing. As an aside, catechol is not quite the same as pyrogallol as far as toxicity goes, but it still needs to be treated with respect. Working solutions are quite dilute, and there is no need to wear a hazmat suit when developing film with Pyrocat.

    A few extra precautions should be taken if you are mixing from scratch using solid catechol. Powders can create dust, and catechol has a high vapour pressure.
    Thank you. I thought just simply wiping up the solution seemed not enough for something which is apparently quite dangerous. I steam clean the floor afterwards always anyway just an extra precaution though I'm not sure the heat would destroy the chemistry but it would at least in my mind help break it loose from the surface better than just a paper towel.

    I use one of those steam sharks with reusable pads, then wash the pad separetly before using it again in another area.

    http://www.girlsjustwanttogogreen.com/product-reviews/shark-s3601-professional-steam-mop-review

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