A Guide to Safe Practice in Art & Design

6.5   Photography

6.5.1    Darkrooms
6.5.2    Developers
6.5.3    The Processing Room
 

6.5.1    Darkrooms

In a properly organised and well-designed darkroom there should be few hazards. The greatest dangers arise from the proximity of electricity to water, lack of adequate ventilation and handling chemicals. (For information on ventilation and electrical equipment see sections 5.2.3 and 5.2.5; for chemicals see section 7.)

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6.5.2    Developers

Developers employed in the processing of colour photographs (and to a lesser extent those used in processing black and white emulsions) may cause allergic reactions when brought into contact with the skin. Warnings to this effect, and recommendations for the avoidance of dermatitis, are contained in the manufacturers' instructions for the use of chemicals. Suitable rubber gloves should be made available.

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6.5.3    The Processing Room

The processing room should be provided with a 'wet' area for all dish and tank processes, and a separate 'dry' bench for printing, enlarging and handling dry photosensitive materials.

Thermometers should not be used as stirring rods. Apart from the danger of broken glass, mercury and the vapour emitted is poisonous. Care should be taken in dealing with any breakages. Spirit thermometers should be considered when replacing this equipment.

The 'wet' processing area should be constructed of chemical-proof material and be provided with a means of washing down all chemically contaminated surfaces after use. Hand rinsing and drying facilities should be provided, and care should be taken to dry hands thoroughly before touching electrical equipment.

Electrical fittings and sockets should be sited away from the 'wet' area, including sinks, and all electrical apparatus should be properly earthed. Pull-cord type switches are preferable to surface switches in darkrooms.

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