Photography - Safe Work Practice Manual

Safe Work Practices Manual

Fine Arts Studio - Photography


In addition to reading this SWP Manual, students are also required to read and acknowledge a studio-specific Hazard Assessment

Please Note: This SWP manual is not intended to provide detailed instruction of processes and techniques.  It is not a substitute for attending technical demonstrations and taking notes. 



  • Regularly review the Safe Work Practices Manual for each area you are working in- this is an important resource.  

  • In addition to reading the SWP Manual, students are required to read and acknowledge studio-specific Hazard Assessments and, if applicable, attend studio demonstrations. 

  • Know the material you are working with and read the SDS labels and information sheets to ascertain the proper safety precautions you should take.  

  • Wear the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment when working in the workshops. For example, you may need to wear a respirator and work in a ventilated environment based on the information provided with this material. 

  • All materials, supplies, and works in progress must be stored appropriately with the understanding that W840 supports all studio programs. 

  • If you are unsure about which tool to use or how to use it consult the safe work practice manual, a Technician, and your Instructor before starting. 

  • All placement of art outside the 8th floor must be approved by OH&S through the completion of the Art Placement Form. This form is on the OH&S website of the university and must be completed five days prior to the installation of your work. 

  • Wear personal listening devices in all Studio Classrooms when working after class hours as other students may need the quiet to concentrate. You may be asked by your instructor not to use any personal listening devices during class hours. If this is the case, please follow the directions given you. 

  • Be aware of the impact of your work on the work of others in your studio classroom. 

  • Doors to studios must be kept closed- do not prop open. Do not give away the code to studio doors. 

  • All containers must be labeled, do not use food or drink containers for any controlled substances such as paint thinner, glue, patina solutions, etc.


  • Do not block fire exits and fire-fighting equipment.  

  • Keep aisles, walkways and stairs clear.  

  • Store materials in designated storage areas or in your locker or studio space. 

  • A clear uncluttered passageway must be maintained in storage areas; do not leave anything sticking out beyond the front edge of racks and shelving. 

  • Remove projects immediately after they have been graded to open up space to make more work. 

  • All storage must be cleaned out at the end of each term. Look for signs and heed your instructor’s directions about portfolio pick-up at end of term.  All articles left behind will be removed and thrown out. 

  • Wash charcoal dust and paint off table tops at the end of each work period as studios are shared spaces. 

  • Keep your studio facilities and classrooms clean and tidy.  

  • Respect your work and the work of others. 

  • Be aware of the impact of your work on the work of others in the workshops. 

  • Keep all disposal bins tidy with no projecting articles. 

  • Clean up spills immediately in order to avoid a slipping hazard. 

  • Clean and put away all tools and materials when job is done, and at the end of each workday. 

  • Wear the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment when working in Art Studios and Workshops. 

  • Sweep floors, equipment, counters, and tables after completion of tasks and at the end of every workday. 

  • Avoid causing trip hazards with extension cords and air hoses.

Each person in the School of Fine Arts is responsible and accountable for his/her own safety performance. It is important that each person understand that he/she is also expected to work in a manner that will not cause harm to any other person within the University community. Art materials can affect the body in various ways. There are three major routes of entry: inhalation, ingestion and skin contact. 

  1. Inhalation
    The most common ways that foreign substances enter the body are from vapors, fumes, dust, gases or mists that can be inhaled into the respiratory system. The substances may damage the nose, mouth, and upper respiratory tract, lungs or be absorbed into the bloodstream and travel to other organs in the body. 
  2. Ingestion
    Substances may be accidentally or willingly ingested through the contamination of food, drinks, cigarettes and hands. These substances may affect the mouth, throat and/or stomach or be absorbed into the bloodstream. 
  3. Skin Contact
    Substances may attack or destroy the natural protective barriers of the skin, damaging the skin itself, and enabling toxic chemicals to enter the bloodstream, where they are carried to various organs of the body. 

It is imperative that eating and/or drinking do not occur in any work area.

All students are required to participate in the Safe Work Practices. This includes participation in training and instructional workshops, reading the information sheets that accompany the training sessions, and signing off on their understanding of the information before beginning work in the studio facilities.

It is the responsibility of every person in the area to be aware of his or her surroundings, which in turn will create a safe working environment. Particular attention should be paid to the following: 

  1. Telephone: located inside the studio at the exit. Emergency numbers are posted on each telephone. 
  2. First Aid Kits: located in each area and are clearly marked. These are for emergency first aid procedures only. Do not use supplies for any other use.  
  3. Eye Wash Stations: located in each area and are clearly marked. Eye wash stations are tested weekly, by the department Safety Representative. 
  4. Fire Extinguishers: located in every working area. 
  5. Safety Data Sheet binders: located in studios where the Department supplies controlled products to support instruction (see below)

Once training requirements have been met Students have access to and are allowed to work in their Studio Classroom any time the University is open, as long as safety and working alone policies are followed (see page 9: Working Alone Policy).  

Students with training are permitted to work in the Sculpture Facilities (W840) according to the schedule which corresponds to the hours when Technicians are on duty. This schedule is posted on the Workshop doors. 

The following materials and substances cannot be used in student projects: ammunition or explosives, flammable liquids, biohazardous material or waste. 

WHMIS information sheets and proper labeling according to WHMIS regulations must accompany all controlled products.  WHMIS training is provided by OH&S, as a student you must complete the WHMIS Online Training Course offered through OH&S on Moodle.  

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are provided in all studios for all controlled products supplied by the Department to support instruction. 

Controlled products for your personal use must also have appropriate WHMIS labels and accompanying SDS information sheets. 

  • All containers must be labeled (including harmless items like distilled water). The label should contain the proper name of the material (i.e. Turpenoid, Varsol) and the name of the user if appropriate, a statement of hazards should also be listed. 

  • Do not use material from unlabeled containers. The need for adequate labeling extends far beyond the immediate individual user, as they may not be present if the container spills or breaks.  

  • It is important that no unidentified materials are left in unlabeled containers, jars, or bottles. Proper labeling is important since it is difficult and costly to dispose of unlabeled chemicals. 

Each individual has the responsibility for seeing that waste chemicals are safely collected, identified and stored for disposal, and that anyone involved is fully advised of the need for any special methods or facilities for proper disposal.

Handling of Waste

Chemicals are everywhere: they can be found in animals, plants and water as well as in many commercially available products including medicines, detergents, paints, and foods. The risk may be low, but present. In order to keep the risk to a minimum, all chemical waste must be disposed of properly. Once a material is declared a waste, the first responsibility for guiding its proper disposal rests with the worker. He or she is in the best position to know the degree of hazard posed by the material they have used and must provide sufficient information to fit it into the correct channel for disposal. 

Some Acids and Bases:

The following acids and bases have been approved for drain disposal while flushing drain with water, if the pH range is between 3 and 11 (prior to draining).  

Sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide. 

Any chemical which qualifies as a hazardous waste must be collected for proper disposal through OH&S.  A waste may be designated as a hazardous waste if it meets one of the following criteria:  


  1. Acute hazardous waste is a waste which has been found to be fatal in humans in low doses or, in the absence of data on humans, has been found to have, in laboratory animals:

    • An oral LD50 (Lethal Dose of 50% of the test subjects) of less than 50 mg/kg.  

    • An inhalation LC50 (Lethal Concentration) of less than 2 mg/l, or  

    • A dermal LD50 of less than 200 mg/kg. 

  2. A waste is hazardous if it contains any of the toxic constituents listed in the regulations.  

  3. A waste is hazardous if it exhibits any of the following characteristics:  

    • Ignitability  

    • Corrosivity  

    • Reactivity  

    • Toxicity *  

    • Sharpness 

  4. Each Studio generating chemical waste in the Department has a designated location within the room for waste accumulation.  

  5. Hazardous Waste Disposal containers are located by the sinks in most studios. As well sharps containers are located in various studios for the safe disposal of glass, knives or saw blades. 

All workplace hazardous materials must be identified and disposed of according to Provincial Regulations. No substance that may affect the Environment, Plant, Animal, or Human Life can be disposed of in the garbage or flushed down the sewer system. Consult with a Technician before you act.  

Effective ventilation is the best method for controlling contaminants generated and released into the studio atmosphere. There are two basic types of ventilation: general and local exhaust. Local exhaust ventilation is required when working in: 

Painting Studio W817

Metal Shop W840 

Advanced Studio W823

Kiln Room W890D 

Wood Shop W840A

Clay Mixing/ Slurry Room 890A 

Spray Booths are located in W840 + W520, use these when spraying fixative to drawings or when using spray paint. If the contaminant is highly toxic or large amounts of the toxic material are produced a respirator must also be worn.  

As a result of the hazard assessment performed by the Technical Staff of the Department of Art working alone is not permitted if it can be avoided. 

All work planned outside of times when Technicians are on shift must be done with another student. Any Students found working alone in any studio area will be asked to leave the facility by Security personnel. The buddy system should now be enforced in all of the following workspaces:  W817, W823, W869, W871, W890, A, B, C +D, W520, L804, W844, W842, and W748 A-K. Excerpt from Art Safety Policy (1992); 

In addition, students working after hours are required to have a buddy present. A buddy is another student who is enrolled in and cognizant of the School of Fine Arts Safety Policy. The buddy must remain within the same studio at all times.

The University of Lethbridge now has a Working Alone Safely Login that informs Security that an individual is working alone on campus. All Faculty,Staff, and Students are asked to use this system to login and out with security when they are on campus after regular hours.

The Working Alone Safety Login can be access through Uleth Safe app

This policy was developed through the guidelines found in the booklet “Working Alone Safely: A Guide for Employers and Employees” as developed by Alberta Human Resources and Employment. 


In the event of fire, please phone the following EMERGENCY number immediately: 911 or 329-2345. 

Action to be taken (R.E.A.C.T.):

  1. Remove those in danger.

  2. Ensure the room is closed. This step will confine a fire to the room of origin. This will also prevent the spread of smoke and toxic gases. 

  3. Activate the fire alarm. This will occur automatically with smoke and heat detection equipment. There is nothing wrong with calling the Fire Department for assistance and providing details of the fire. 

  4. Call the Fire Department. 911 or 329-2345. A person should be designated to call the Fire Department even though the building alarm system is automatically connected to the Fire Department. 

  5. Try to extinguish or control the fire. If there is any doubt in the mind of the person(s) attempting to extinguish the fire regarding their ability to do so, then confine the fire to the room of origin by closing the door. 

  6. Evacuate. 

  7. Keep people from re-entering the building until directed to do so by the Building Fire Warden of Campus Security. 

Air Contamination

Should you smell any foreign or unrecognized odors, please phone the following EMERGENCY number immediately: 329-2345. 

What to report: 

  1. The location of the odor.
  2. Time the odor was first apparent. 
  3. Any physical symptoms experienced by persons in the affected area, ie. headache, feeling of nausea. 
  4. Any information suggesting the odor's origin. 

Open any windows or doors to attempt to dilute the polluted air with fresh outside air. Stay out of the affected area and await further instruction by safety personnel. 

Chemical Spills

Should a chemical spill occur in your area please phone the following EMERGENCY number immediately: 329-2345. 

What to report: 

  1. The location of the spill and any evidence that tells what the chemical could be, ie. an empty bleach bottle lying on the floor indicating the substance may be bleach. 
  2. Any odor, ie. a strong smell of ammonia. 
  3. Any visible chemical reaction that may be occurring, ie. a substance bubbling on the floor. 

When proper personnel have been notified, no one should enter the contaminated area. If an odor is present, open a window and post a guard outside the odorous area keeping untrained persons away. NO ATTEMPT SHOULD BE MADE TO CLEAN UP THE SPILL. Await arrival of emergency personnel.

Personal Protective Equipment

There are times when exposure to toxic materials cannot be prevented, and as such any person working in the area must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. Contact the Technician, your Professor, or OHS for assistance in selecting the correct PPE. It is not only important that the correct PPE is worn but that the equipment fit properly. For instance, respirators must have a mask to face seal and facial hair prevents a tight seal.  

  • CSA approved eye protection must be worn when working in W840 and elsewhere when the activity demands it. 

  • Prescription lenses and sport glasses are not an acceptable substitute for proper, required Industrial safety eye protection. 

  • Contact lens should not be worn in Art Studio Environments. Contact lens may trap or absorb particles or gases causing eye irritation or blindness. 

  • Eye protection should fit properly, with or without prescription lens.  

  • Return glasses to the proper storage rack face up to avoid scratching lens. 

  • In this storage rack you will find a variety of styles- pick the one that fits you best. 

  • There are two common types of hearing protection: earplugs or earmuffs. 

  • One or both types must be used when working in W840 and W890B (grinding room) and at all times when equipment is operating. 

  • These studio workshops are high noise areas and hearing protection is a must even if you are not the one making the noise. 

  • Hearing loss, which normally occurs over an extended period of time, is one concern in high noise areas, but the immediate effect of high noise areas is fatigue- when we are tired we make mistakes, some of which could be serious. 

  • Students are required to wear good solid shoes when working in any Studio. Leather shoes with closed toes are best. These protect your feet from most substances used in studios- for example, spills: photo chemicals, acids, and paints. Open toed sandals should not be worn in any studio, and are not permitted in W840 or W890

  • If you have safety boots wear them and if you know you are going to live in these studios buy some safety footwear. 

  • Employees must wear safety footwear in the above areas and in the performance of the majority of their duties. 

  • Dust masks most be worn in W840, W840A, and W890 A, B, and C when the activities in these areas are dust producing. 

  • Local ventilation and air extraction equipment must be utilized in the above studios depending on the nature of your activity. 

  • Spray Booths are located in W840 + W520, use these when spraying fixative to drawings or when using spray paint.  

  • If the contaminant is highly toxic or large amounts of the toxic material are produced a respirator must also be worn.

Due to the variety of studio activities you must consider further personal protection that may take many different forms such as leather gloves, nitrile gloves, leather/chemical aprons etc. 

 Generally the following rules apply when working in studios and shops: 

  • All rings, bracelets, necklaces, and watches should be removed. Long hair must be tied firmly back and tucked in. Short sleeves should be worn when working in the wood shop and shirttails must be tucked in. 

  • If you bend over nothing should fall away from your body.  

  • When working with metal or hot processes long sleeves should be worn, and clothing should be made of natural fibers such as cotton or wool. Synthetic fibers, such as spandex or polyester, melt onto the skin and can cause severe burns. 

  • Unlike in the woodshop, shirttails should not be tucked in when working with hot processes. Do not roll up sleeve cuffs, and pocket flaps should be closed. You want any hot particle to be able to pass through your clothing and not to become trapped against your skin. 

  • Shorts and open-toed shoes or sandals should not be worn in the other studios. You must keep in mind that many of the products you will use are absorbed through the skin, and could be corrosive. 

  • Wash hands and arms thoroughly before leaving the studios after working with potentially hazardous material and before eating, drinking, smoking, etc.

Care and Maintenance 8th Floor Exhibition Spaces

These spaces will operate on a one-week rotating schedule, and it is your responsibility to schedule your time in the space. At the end of the exhibition period the following procedure must be followed: 

  • Get the paint kit from technicians. In this kit you will find the following supplies: 
    Paint Brush, Roller sleeve and handle, pole sander and sand paper, Extension Pole, Wall Filler, putty knife, Tape, White Latex paint, Paint Tray and drop cloths, brush, and roller spinner. 

  • Lay down the drop cloths tight to the walls, if necessary tape these down with painters tape. They should overlap each other by 24”. 

  • Remove all nails and fastening devices, with pole sander lightly sand the walls, smoothing out the dimple caused by your nails. 

  • Prepare a small quantity of wall filler and apply leanly to all nail holes. 

  • When this is dry lightly sand the walls again taking care to make the walls as smooth as possible. 

  • Stir your paint well and only use the latex paint provided. 

  • Fill the paint tray with a moderate quantity of paint working only on the drop clothes. 

  • With a paintbrush first apply a brush coat on all filled areas, then carefully cut in the edges of the walls. Do not paint concrete, floors, baseboards, or electrical outlets. 

  • Once you have finished cutting in use the roller to apply a light even coat of white latex paint to the walls. 

  • After you have completed the painting scrap excess paint from roller into tray, with a brush, clean paint tray returning excess paint to paint can. 

  • Roll or fold up your drop cloths and sweep the area before returning paint kit to W840. 

  • Return all used painting equipment to W840 and carefully remove the roller sleeve and thoroughly rinse it in the sink making sure all paint is washed out of roller and paintbrush. 

  • Using the paint spinner in the sink fit roller sleeve over end of spinner and spin roller to remove excess water. Stand damp roller sleeve upright for finally drying.  

  • Using the paint spinner, place brush handle into clamp and spin to remove excess water. Smooth out the bristle while brush is still damp and lay brush flat to dry or hang on wall over sink. 


  • The door to W748 must be kept closed. Do not prop open, do not share code.  

  • Clear, uncluttered passageways must be maintained in studio areas; store materials in designated storage areas or in your locker. 

  • Do not block fire exits and fire fighting equipment.  

  • Absolutely no eating or drinking in any photo area. 

  • As in other studio areas, open-toed sandals are not permitted. Wear close-toed shoes to protect your feet from chemical spills. Your shoes should also have a sturdy slip-resistant sole. 

  • You may be asked by your instructor not to use any personal listening devices during class hours. If this is the case please follow the directions given you. 

  • Do not work alone in the photography studio area after Technicians hours if you can avoid it. Have someone working in the studio with you, or login through the ULeth Safe App as working alone.   

  • In the photo lab chemicals spills are common. Please wipe down counters and rinse sinks after use. Use copious amounts of water to rinse trays and jugs. Clean up spills and drips immediately in order to avoid a slipping hazard.  

  • Never put your hands into any chemical tray. Use tongs when processing prints and, where necessary, wear nitrile gloves. Photo chemicals are hard on your body, so keep them controlled and do not spread chemicals to dry work areas. They will contaminate yourself and others. 

  • Respect your work and the work of others- photo chemicals will damage your and others’ work- cleanliness is paramount in Photo Studios. 

  • If you work for long stretches at a time plan regular fresh air breaks; leave the studio, wash your hands, and walk around a bit. Your work will go better and you will be better. 

  • Enlarger areas in darkroom are dry zones- do not contaminate with chemicals. Electrical outlets and equipment can present electrical hazards in due to the risk of splashing water. Keep liquids away from areas where electrical equipment is in use. 

  • Processing equipment in darkrooms is very specialized; do not over tighten adjustment knobs, and do not remove lens boards from enlargers. When focusing your negative do not rest the weight of your body against focus adjustment knobs or these will break. Ask for help from your instructor or the Technicians if equipment is not responding to adjustments as it should. 

  • Do not bang or rap film processing tanks against the edge of sinks or counters. Rap sharply with the flat bottom of the tank on flat surfaces only.

  • Use clean leather gloves if you need to handle hot lighting equipment. 

  • Do not overload circuits by plugging all your studio lights into one outlet or circuit. Plug studio lights into power bars then use outlets on opposite walls to avoid over loading electrical circuits. 

  • Never leave lights on unattended. 

  • Do not use flammable materials on or near studio lighting equipment.  

  • Do not place electrical cords on or near hot lights. To avoid this possibility arrange your time so that all equipment has a chance to cool down before returning to proper storage units.  

  • All quartz lights must be used with the protective mesh in place to avoid potential burn and flying glass hazards should bulbs break. 

  • Avoid trip hazards when arranging lighting set-ups; remember that equipment that falls will likely break.  

  • Make all lighting set-ups with a view to safety as well as aesthetics, tape cords down and be aware of all safety hazards in lighting studios. 

Black and White Processing

A wide variety of chemicals are used in black and white photographic processing. Film developing is usually done in closed canisters. Print processing uses tray processing, with successive developing baths, stop baths, fixing baths, and rinse steps. Other treatments include use of hardeners, intensifiers, reducers, toners, and hypo eliminators. Photo chemicals can be purchased both as ready-to-use brand name products, or they can be purchased as individual chemicals, which you can mix yourself.

Photo chemicals can be bought in liquid form, which only need diluting, or powder form, which need dissolving and diluting. The chemistry in the darkroom and film developing area are mixed by Technicians, and students will not come into contact with undiluted chemistry, but you should still be aware of their hazards and the necessary precautions. 

The chemicals described in the proceeding sections are those that are utilized in the Photo Studio; other chemistry available elsewhere may be more (or less) hazardous. Always read the SDS for any substance you plan to use, and always avoid contact with eyes, skin, and clothing. 

  • Developer solutions and powders are often highly alkaline and glacial acetic acid, used in making the stop bath, is also corrosive by skin contact, inhalation and ingestion.  

  • Developer powders are toxic by inhalation, and toxic by skin contact, due to the alkali and developers themselves (see Developing Baths below).  

  • Developers may cause methemoglobinemia, an acute anemia resulting from converting the iron of hemoglobin into a form that cannot transport oxygen.

  • Wear gloves, goggles, a half-mask respirator, and protective apron when mixing concentrated photo chemicals.  

  • Use liquid chemistry whenever possible, rather than mixing developing powders. Pregnant women, in particular, should not be exposed to powdered developer. When mixing powdered developers, use local exhaust ventilation.  

  • Always add any acid to water, never the reverse.  

  • An eyewash fountain and emergency shower facilities should be available where the photo chemicals are mixed due to the corrosive alkali in developers, and because of the glacial acetic acid. In case of eye contact, rinse for at least 15-20 minutes and call a physician.  

  • In case of skin contact, rinse with lots of water.  

  • Store concentrated acids and other corrosive chemicals on low shelves so as to reduce the chance of face or eye damage in case of breakage and splashing.  

  • Do not store photographic solutions in glass containers.  

  • Label all solutions carefully so as not to accidentally ingest solutions.  

  • All photo chemicals must be stored in covered jugs when not in use, to prevent evaporation or release of toxic vapors and gases.

The most commonly used developers are hydroquinone, mono-methyl para-aminophenol sulfate, and phenidone. The developers available for student use in the Photo Studios (Kodak D-76 for film development and Ilford Multigrade Developer for paper development) contain hydroquinone and either sodium sulphite or sodium hydroxide.

  • Developers are skin and eye irritants, and in many cases strong sensitizers. Repeated skin contact may provoke an allergic reaction. 

  • Hydroquinone can cause depigmentation and eye injury after five or more years of repeated exposure, and is a mutagen. 

  • Most developers are moderately toxic by ingestion, causing cyanosis (turning blue from lack of oxygen) due to methemoglobinemia.  

  • Sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, and other alkalis used as accelerators are highly corrosive by skin contact or ingestion when handling the pure alkali or with concentrated stock solutions.  

  • Sodium sulfite is not appreciably toxic by skin contact, but it is moderately toxic by ingestion or inhalation, causing gastric upset, colic, diarrhea, circulatory problems, and central nervous system depression. If heated or allowed to stand for a long time in water or acid, it decomposes to produce sulfur dioxide, which is highly irritating by inhalation and may cause some asthmatics to experience difficulty breathing.

  • Do not put your bare hands in developer baths. Use tongs and gloves instead.  

  • Do not lean over paper processing trays; avoid inhalation of fumes, and ensure ventilation is activated. 

  • If developer solution splashes on your skin or eyes immediately rinse with lots of water. For eye splashes, continue rinsing for 15-20 minutes and call a physician. 

The stop baths is a weak solution of either acetic acid (Kodak indicator Stop Bath) or citric acid (Ilford Ilfostop). Acetic acid is commonly available as pure glacial acetic acid or 28% acetic acid. Citric acid stop baths also contain 2-phenoxyethanol, which acts as a preservative to slow the growth of bacteria. 

The fixing bath (Ilford Rapid Fix or Ilford Hypam Fixer) contains ammonium thiosulfate (“hypo”) as the fixing agent, sodium bisulfite as a preservative.  

The stop bath used in film processing is the same as that used for paper processing. The fix, however, is used at a much stronger concentration in film processing than in paper processing. 

  • Acetic acid, in concentrated solutions, is highly toxic by inhalation, skin contact, and ingestion. It can cause dermatitis and ulcers, and can strongly irritate the mucous membranes.  Concentrated citric acid causes skin irritation and serious eye irritation. 

  • The final stop bath is only slightly hazardous by skin contact. Continual inhalation of acetic acid vapors, even from the stop bath, may cause chronic bronchitis. Although the citric acid bath is less harmful, exposure may also cause irritation to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. 

  • Ammonium thiosulfate is not significantly toxic by skin contact. Upon heating or long standing in solution, it can decompose to form highly toxic sulfur dioxide, which can cause chronic lung problems.  Many asthmatics are particularly sensitive to sulfur dioxide.  

  • Do not put your bare hands in stop or fixer baths. Use tongs and gloves instead.  

  • All darkrooms require good ventilation to control the level of acetic acid vapors and sulfur dioxide gas produced in photography; Kodak recommends at least 10 air changes per hour. The exhaust duct opening should preferably be located behind and just above the stop bath and fixer trays.  

  • All photo chemicals must be stored in covered jugs when not in use, to prevent evaporation or release of toxic vapors and gases.

Hypo Clear and Photo-Flo are used in the processing of black and white film, but not in processing paper. 

Hypo Clear contains sodium sulphite and sodium metabisulphite to break down chemicals left over from the fixer, reducing the time needed to wash the film and allowing the film to be washed at a lower temperature than otherwise necessary.  

Photo-Flo, the final chemical step in film processing, is a wetting agent that promotes faster, more uniform drying and minimizes water marks or streaks on the negatives. It contains ethylene glycol, the same substance as antifreeze. 

  • Sodium metabisulphite, upon heating or long standing in solution, can decompose to form highly toxic sulfur dioxide, which can cause chronic lung problems.  Many asthmatics are particularly sensitive to sulfur dioxide.  

  • If ingested, wheezing, chest tightness, stomach upset, hives, faintness, weakness, and diarrhea may be experienced by sulfite-sensitive individuals. 

  • Both Hypo Clear and Photo-Flo can cause eye irritation. 

  • Although it is a low hazard for skin contact, if ingested ethylene glycol is harmful or fatal and can cause kidney damage and central nervous system effects, and may cause adverse reproductive effects. 

  • All photo chemicals must be stored in covered jugs when not in use, to prevent evaporation or release of toxic vapors and gases.  

Toning a print usually involves replacement of silver by another metal- for example, gold, selenium, uranium, platinum, or iron. In some cases, the toning involves replacement of silver metal by brown silver sulfide- for example, in the various types of sulfide toners. First the print is put through a bleaching bath, then into the toning bath. 

The toners available in the Photo Studios are Kodak’s Sepia Toner, and Berg’s Brilliant Blue.

  • Sulfides release toxic hydrogen sulfide gas during toning, or when treated with acid.  

  • Selenium is a skin and eye irritant and can cause kidney damage. Treatment of selenium salts with acid may release highly toxic hydrogen selenide gas. Selenium toners also give off large amounts of sulfur dioxide gas.  

  • Carry out normal precautions for handling toxic chemicals as described in previous sections. In particular, wear gloves. Avoid contact with eyes, skin, and clothing. 

  • Toning solutions must be used with proper exhaust ventilation.  

  • Take precautions to make sure that sulfide or selenium toners are not contaminated with acids. For example, with two bath sulfide toners, make sure after bleaching the print in acid solution you rinse it well before dipping it in the sulfide developer.  

Outdoor Photography

There are many things to take into consideration before you venture out, whether on campus or elsewhere. 

  • The ground may be uneven, wet, or icy.  

  • Weather can be intense and it can change quickly depending on the season. 

  • Certain plants may cause allergic reactions, or bodily harm should you come into contact with them (for example, cacti).  

  • Insects can be a minor nuisance but may also present a danger of allergic reaction (bees, wasps) or be carriers of disease (mosquitos, ticks). 

  • Wildlife is unpredictable. 

  • Maneuvering from place to place may necessitate encountering construction sites or vehicular traffic.

  • Keep your cellphone with you in case of emergencies, even if you are only venturing a short way from 7th level. 

  • Wear sensible shoes or boots that are appropriate for weather/ ground conditions. Obey signage indicating that certain pathways or areas may be closed due to icy conditions.  

  • Check the daily forecast and be prepared (bring drinking water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, gloves and a jacket if necessary). In cold, windy weather frostbite can develop even if you are outside a short period. 

  • Keep allergy medication on hand, and do not handle plant life. When walking or hiking in the coulees, wear fully enclosed footwear. 

  • In spring and summer wear bug spray and full coverage light-coloured clothing. If you are in an area known to be inhabited by ticks, wear a hat, tuck your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants.  Do tick checks during and after your outing. 

  • Know what wildlife you may encounter in the area, and what they may be up to. Is it deer mating or calving season? A rutting male or a protective mother may not react kindly to your presence. Are the rattlesnakes emerging from their hibernacula? Are you near a food source for bears? Obey all signage, and respect wildlife by maintaining a safe distance. 

  • Be aware of vehicles and observe all traffic rules. If working on or near roadways wear appropriately reflective clothing, especially in low light conditions.