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Thread: handling precautions?

  1. #11
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    Re: handling precautions?

    Quote Originally Posted by goamules View Post
    Yep, when I pour bleach in the laundry room, I'm careful with my eyes too. Or checking the specific gravity of car batteries. Or spraying Lysol or ant killer...or ....

    If people don't know not to splash silver nitrate in their eyes, well, I guess they should read up more on doing wetplate before finding a large format forum, discovering a wetplate section, and asking an open ended question about safety. Everybody knows that. Don't touch the flame of an alcohol lamp if you use that for drying varnished plates either.

    These hand wringing posts show up from time to time about wetplate. Usually from Europeans for some reason.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    I'd have just gone with "ignore and move on" and not some gratuitous attack on someone's nationality.
    Casting the first stone and such.
    What Ari said. Please don't go there.

    And: honest questions about health risks are always appropriate and should never be treated with disdain. If it's all obvious to you and you don't have the patience to answer constructively, then leave it be and let others who are willing to be helpful have the floor.

  2. #12

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    Re: handling precautions?

    Quote Originally Posted by goamules View Post
    What do you think is toxic in wetplates? Nothing is really. Collodion was used to bind wounds in hospitals. The salts can be simple potassium and ammonium iodides which are safe. Silver Nitrate was administered to infants at birth. Developer is iron and vinegar. It's all about as toxic as the household cleaning supplies most people have in their bathrooms. It's not like it's radioactive or anything.
    A very good answer. Knowledge, careful handling and common sense are the basic tools necessary to prevent personal contamination from most photo chemicals. When I began my log journey through photography Uranium was in a toner, and mercury was a common intensifier.

  3. #13

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    Re: handling precautions?

    It's certain of the heavy metal salts (cadmium, lead, mercury) used in some collodion recipes that are very real potential health hazards. The cavalier attitude of wet plate practitioners towards them is something I find quite concerning - same with various alt-processes and dichromates.

  4. #14
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    Re: handling precautions?

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, when he said, I drank what?! - Chris Knight
    "Sex is like maths, add the bed, subtract the clothes, divide the whoo hoo and hope you don't multiply." - Leather jacket guy

  5. #15
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    Re: handling precautions?

    Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die

    MAYBE

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostcount View Post
    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, when he said, I drank what?! - Chris Knight
    sin eater

  6. #16

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    Re: handling precautions?

    I suppose I should have said "check the MSDS sheets on all chemicals" and been done with it. Because there are lots of different formulas that can be used, I usually assume and use the least dangerous. Some assume the worse. One person's plate formula may be toxic if you lick it, before being varnished. But I doubt touching it would migrate the amounts to be withing the ppm factors. Anyway, how would any of us know that? Anyone done some "touch testing" and then blood work lately?

    Here is why I react that it's not dangerous. I don't want it being banned. It happens. In Europe, manufacturing cannot use lead in solder on circuit cards or wiring. Even though lead solder is more effective than sans lead. You get a bunch of people thinking collodion is poisonous and next thing you know you won't be allowed to do it in public spaces, you'll need a permit to do it at the home, you'll have to have a licence to purchase materials. Knee jerk reactions happen all the time.

    Enough said.

  7. #17

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    Re: handling precautions?

    goamules, you're the one knee-jerking here.

    The European legislation about lead solder essentially covers objects/ products that could be handled/ potentially ingested by a child. That manufacturers of electronic goods have taken a CYA approach is their own choice - there are plenty of exceptions for specialist uses. The few things that are more tightly restricted are usually only because idiots have used them to cause lethal harm to people - and even then, you can be licensed to hold and use them.

    And it was Kodak who pioneered removing a lot of the heavy metal nasties from their products. They have also very closely monitored the health of their workforce who work with various hazardous materials and procedures for a long time, and if highly experienced photographic engineers make very strong warnings about the hazards of Cadmium, I'll listen to them in preference.

    Cadmium is well known for its long term health effects - and that you cannot treat it by chelation. It's your choice if you want to handle its salts outside of a fume hood - just as should be other people's informed choice to be potentially exposed to these reagents or not.

    Like many potentially far nastier compounds, collodion wet plate can be handled safely (though I would like to see a long term toxicology study) on a routine basis, however I've seen too many people handle the process far too casually for the chemicals involved - and heard quite a number of practitioners quite blithely state that they do wet plate 'because it's less toxic than colour processes' (!)

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: handling precautions?

    Gosh Garrett - quite a number of people die or suffer permanent damage from common household cleaners every year. It happened like crazy back before skull and crossbones labeling became mandatory. There are also more subtle carcinogenic and mutagenic issues. Be forewarned, and don't complain if you start growing antlers or a third eyeball. Lots of hazmat stuff is sold on grocery store shelves. Just yesterday I saw bottles of muriatic acid on a shelf right around the corner from a stack of promo priced beer -possibly the same thing, just bottled differently! Next time you need to kill all the bacteria in the pool, maybe some raunchy beer would do fine.

  9. #19
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    Re: handling precautions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    and don't complain if you start growing antlers ...

    Growing antlers would only be a hazard for you during deer season.



    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  10. #20

    Re: handling precautions?

    Quote Originally Posted by someone_else View Post
    Silver Nitrate and Cadmium Bromide are some examples.
    I would certainly call both chemicals toxic (as are lots of other chemicals). My quick response to concern would be that any remaining silver nitrate is fixed out of the plate and one can easily do wetplate without cadmium bromide.

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