Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2010 18:17:51 EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM
Subject: Re: Precipitate Sampling

Well, lets look at what you might find depending on what processes they did:

Straight Black and White:  hydroquinone, metol or elon developers can still be there   Silver from the paper washed out in the fix and hypo solutions.  And B&W and every process below will involve some sulfates and/or sulfites of various types.

Blue print and/or cyanotype will net you various hexacyanoferates that will test as cyanide on the TCLP.  Dichromates are also used in cyanotype.

Kallitype and Van Dyke processes use raw silver nitrate so the amounts of silver can be much higher than from B&W.  And if you ask photography teachers about these processes they refer to them as "non-silver" processes since they don't use paper impregnated with silver.  Go figure.

Gum printing uses dichromates and mercuric chloride.

There's toning processes with selenium, lead, uranium, platinum, palladium, and just about any metal you want to name depending on the extent to which the program delves into history.

If they color or hand tint, all the metals including cadmium, barium, mercury and lead are going to be there.

There are a flock of other weird historic processes.  And I know of two colleges at which idiots are doing mercury vapor deguerreotype.

Run a TLCP for sure. Who know what evil LURKS in the hearts of photography teachers?


In a message dated 12/21/2010 2:34:44 PM Eastern Standard Time, wendycampbell**At_Symbol_Here**BOISESTATE.EDU writes:

Hey all,

I just ran into an interesting situation.  Some years ago, there was a plumbing leak in a pipe tunnel.  The "grey" water in the lines that leaked out originated in a photography teaching lab and a metal arts teaching lab.  After the leak was fixed, the water was simply allowed to dry in the tunnel and now there is a lot of dust left on the floor.  There will be a lot of work performed in the tunnels in the next month or two, and this will certainly stir up the dust.  

I know what processes are done there now, and I have a good idea of "recent" history (the past 10 years or so), but I'm not overly familiar with historical photography lab practices and the photography manager is newer here than I am.  Based on what I do know, I grabbed a sample of the material and will have it tested to see what might be in there and at what levels so we can start planning a clean-up of the area.  My question to the list is this:  What would you sample for?  It would be awesome to have that mysterious machine from CSI that can analyze molecules in seconds in the field, all the way down to the brand of perfume and its retailers, but......  I'm thinking a TCLP for metals is in order, but is there anything else that I should request of the lab doing the analysis?      


Wendy Campbell, CSP
Occupational Health and Safety Officer
Environmental Health and Safety
Boise State University
1910 University Drive
Boise, Idaho 83725-1826
Office: (208) 426-3303
Fax:  (208) 426-3343

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.