Health and Safety Information

Health and Safety Instructions:


Please wear gloves or use tongs when processing black and white paper. The only place you should use bare hands is to remove prints from the water bath or to wash prints. Developers are toxic, especially if absorbed through the skin over long periods of time.

Clean up any chemical spills immediately with cold water and wipe up with rags until you are certain the chemicals are gone.

No food or drinks in the lab..

Whether you use gloves or tongs, wash your hands thoroughly with soap before drinking, eating or smoking.


While the majority of the black and white chemicals are in the range of non-toxic to slightly toxic to most people, black and white developers and color chemicals are in the range of slightly toxic to toxic, especially if these developers or color chemicals are ingested, inhaled or come in contact with bare skin.

To protect yourself from possible bronchitis, sinusitis, increased allergic sensitivity, skin rashes and a host of other more serious damage (that primarily comes from long term and consistent unsafe exposure), please read the following guidelines for handling photo chemicals in the labs. It is vital to your health that you follow these rules!

It is also vital to your health that if you have bronchitis, sinusitis, allergic-sensitivity, are pregnant or planning to be so soon, or are taking any medication (especially lithium carbonate based!) that you consult your doctor to make certain that it is safe for you to work around photographic chemistry.

Please be aware of your medical history that may cause complications due to the presence of photographic chemicals. If you are pregnant, for example, especially if you are in the first tri-semester, you probably should not be around color chemistry. Please check with your doctor if you have the slightest doubt about your sensitivity to chemicals now, or if you notice any even slight change in your health over your time working in the darkroom.


INHALATION OF CHEMISTRY: If symptomatic, move to fresh air. If having difficulty breathing, call 999. We are located at 50 Athelstan Road, Cliftonville, Kent CT9 2BH.

INGESTION OF CHEMISTRY: call 999 and tell them what the person ingested and follow their directions to help the person. Check the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets), which are located in the darkroom itself and in the office, for a complete breakdown of any chemicals we use if poison control needs more data. DO NOT induce vomiting unless poison control tells you to. Never try to give liquids to an unconscious person.

CHEMICALS SPLASHED INTO EYES: Immediately flood the eyes with cold water and continue to flood them for 15 minutes. An eye wash station is situated in the darkroom. Seek medical attention immediately.

CHEMICALS SPLASHED ON SKIN: Immediately flood skin with water until chemical is washed away. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop symptoms, or if any change in skin condition occurs.




Hazards: Skin and eye irritants. Can cause allergic reaction and allergic sensitivity. Especially hazardous in stock mixing stage. Precautions: Use gloves when mixing working solutions. Avoid skin contact with powders and solution.


Hazards: Concentrate is highly toxic by skin contact, inhalation or ingestion. Continued inhalation of working solution can cause severe sinusitis and bronchitis. Use goggles and gloves. Always measure water first, then add acid. If you splash stock solution on skin, flush immediately and thoroughly with cold water. If you splash stock in eyes, flush immediately and fifteen minutes with cold water and seek immediate medical attention.



Hazards: Not significantly hazardous, although may cause irritation of skin and allergies. If splashed on skin rinse thoroughly with cold water. If splashed in eyes flush immediately and for fifteen minutes with cold water and seek medical attention.

TONERS are not covered thoroughly in this handout. Some toners are highly toxic, some are mildly so. Consult the manufacturer’s information, directions and outline for use and advice. Some toners, for example, release hydrogen sulfide (poisonous) when mixed with acids found in stop bath or fixers, so never mix acid with toners. Always wash prints thoroughly before you tone them. Never wash any toned print in a water bath that contains prints fixed in regular Kodak Fixer.