Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Darkroom with Infants in the house

  1. #1

    Darkroom with Infants in the house

    Due to the lack of good local labs around here I'm thinking about putting in a simple darkroom. The problem is that we have a 2 week old baby in the house. So I am a bit concerned about having all the chemicals around. (An my house like most in Israel doesn't have a garrage or basement)

    We have an upstairs bathroom that is not used much, There is a laundry room that might work well. though with the washer in there I'm not sure how much space would be usable. However it has water, power and an outside door that can be used for ventalation. Any ideas?

    This would be for B&W in 120 and 4x5 format.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    113

    Re: Darkroom with Infants in the house

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach In Israel View Post
    Due to the lack of good local labs around here I'm thinking about putting in a simple darkroom. The problem is that we have a 2 week old baby in the house. So I am a bit concerned about having all the chemicals around. (An my house like most in Israel doesn't have a garrage or basement)

    We have an upstairs bathroom that is not used much, There is a laundry room that might work well. though with the washer in there I'm not sure how much space would be usable. However it has water, power and an outside door that can be used for ventalation. Any ideas?

    This would be for B&W in 120 and 4x5 format.

    My darkroom is in a laundry room with an outside door as well. I put up a wall to separate the darkroom from the washer and water heater. Darkroom size is 5ftx7ft. Shelves above and below the sink/wetside and a cabinet base for the enlargers on the dryside give me enough room to store what I need. You would probably want cabinet locks on the cabinets and or a lock on the door.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,639

    Re: Darkroom with Infants in the house

    Keep the child in a well-ventilated area of the house, and possibly shut off the darkroom completely. Don't let them in the hallway near the room. If your partner can smell the chemicals then it's not ventilated enough

    Make sure it can be ventilated separately from the living area if you can. I've not seen any adverse effects from a few years of modern chemistry on my own body. I take frequent breaks from darkroom work when I do it (a couple hour stretch, max).

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,791

    Re: Darkroom with Infants in the house

    Laundry chemicals can be far worse then anything in your darkroom.

  5. #5
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,092

    Re: Darkroom with Infants in the house

    Not to mention household cleaners. The most likely things in your house to harm your baby are traditionally (at least in America) stored beneath the kitchen sink: scouring powder, dishwasher detergent, mopping liquid, furniture polish, etc.

    Lock the chemicals in a cabinet when not in use, lock the darkroom door when you're in there, and make sure it's kept clean (easy to do with tile and other hard bathroom surfaces), and it'll be no more hazardous than the kitchen. FWIW, common B&W chemicals (not counting toners) are also a great deal safer than the paints and glues used in most model building hobbies, fuel for model airplane engines, lanterns and grills, or lawnmowers, fertilizers and pesticides for a garden -- the list goes on and on. To be extra cautious, you might consider setting up a darkroom free from metol (select developers on this basis) and sulfur dioxide (avoid acid fixer, make neutral fixer from hypo crystals and sodium sulfite), between them responsible for the vast majority of B&W darkroom health issues.

    Worth noting that, once the Daguerreotype era was over, the life expectancy of photographers and darkroom workers hasn't been any different from that of folks who avoided chemical exposure of all kinds...
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  6. #6
    Louie Powell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    844

    Re: Darkroom with Infants in the house

    Zach -

    I had a darkroom when our kids were small, so I fully understand your initial concern. What you may not appreciate is that as your kids get older, the direction of the threat reverses. Then, you won't be concerned about the potential risk to the kids, but rather about the mischief that they can do to the darkroom if they get in!

    I had a dedicated darkroom and solved the problem by putting a lock on the door. But an alternate solution would have been to put all of the chemicals into a cabinet with a lock.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    97

    Re: Darkroom with Infants in the house

    To help your planning, running water is not an absolute necessity in the darkroom, as long as water is easily available. So you can conceivably use a different (more securable) room.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,093

    Re: Darkroom with Infants in the house

    I have a darkroom/bathroom with two little ones growing up in the house and found it to be no problem. I secure all chemicals of course and clean up afterwards. A good bathroom fan deals odors very well IMHO, especially if you go with overkill on the cfms and the new ones are very quiet unlike the old ones. FWIW I don't even use the darkroom/bathroom for developing film except for unloading the film holders---instead I use a Unicolor Processor on the kitchen counter---its closer to the fridge and the cold beer thats inside!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #9
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Coquitlam, BC, Canada, eh!
    Posts
    4,637

    Re: Darkroom with Infants in the house

    My first darkroom was in Japan. I took a small corner in the kitchen. My walls were several layers of black plastic garbage bags. I was printing 120 and 4x5 at that time. I had an infant son at that time. Later, we moved into a larger apartment (in Japan) and along came my daughter. I was lucky to get a spare bedroom for a darkroom. It was a bit of a pain having to go in and out of the room for water, etc, but I did it that way for 7 years (3 in the plastic darkroom...where I almost suffocated and melted away from the extremely humid summers!)

  10. #10
    grumpy & miserable Joseph O'Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    822

    Re: Darkroom with Infants in the house

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_3536 View Post
    Laundry chemicals can be far worse then anything in your darkroom.
    Exactly true. I have my darkroom in my basement, and I treat my photo chemistry the same way I treat any other potentially hazardous household cleaning agents. My two children, 16 and 9, are still alive and kicking.

    good luck
    joe
    eta gosha maaba, aaniish gaa zhiwebiziyin ?

Similar Threads

  1. survey digital vs traditional darkroom
    By Kirk Gittings in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 185
    Last Post: 30-Jul-2009, 12:21
  2. Getting back to the darkroom
    By John Chayka in forum Feedback
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 24-Feb-2006, 09:58
  3. A new Darkroom!
    By Calamity Jane in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 26-Aug-2005, 21:11
  4. low water use print washer? Darkroom questions
    By stefan ballard in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-Aug-2001, 07:05
  5. Any ARCHIVABLE LF ink jet printers that can equal darkroom print?
    By Bill Glickman in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 8-Jan-2001, 13:42

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •