Mixing D76 at home. Safe?
Old 10-11-2018   #1
romeld
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Mixing D76 at home. Safe?

Hey guys,

I received my order for my home developing kit and I decided to use a powder developer and fixer.

The problem is after reading the label in the back, my wife does not want me to make this stuff at home. I have a balcony I can mix it in and my tap goes up to 130F so I don't think I would really need to boil the water and make it in the kitchen.

She would prefer it if I drive to my parents place and make it there and then come back -.-

We also have a newborn which is probably why she doesn't want me touching this stuff at home.

Are her worries sound or should I be fine?
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Old 10-11-2018   #2
Scope79
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I think it's safe to mix it outside on a balcony. Once diluted it won't harm anyone (unless you decide to drink it)

P.S You should check ingredients on some of the kitchen or bathroom cleaning sprays, I doubt they are safer than D76!
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Old 10-11-2018   #3
Bill Clark
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Mix it on the balcony. It’ll help to keep peace! Pour just a small amount of powder into the water, mix it up, then repeat with a small amount, mix, keep doing until it is all mixed. I usually mix until the water is pretty clear until adding more powder. Your wife would cringe at the thought how I mix up my photog chemicals .

I agree, lots of stuff around worse than photography chemicals. Some can be controlled while others can be a challenge.

Use common sense.

Long time sgo, in the Navy, saied up to Vwncouver. Beautiful place. Nice folks.

By the way, congrats on the addition to your family.
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Old 10-11-2018   #4
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Obviously you want to avoid breathing the airborne dust while mixing, but I wouldn't be too concerned with toxicity, especially in the relatively low quantities that home darkrooms use. Once it's mixed and dissolved fully, you obviously don't want to ingest it or get it in your eyes. Some folks may have a reaction with skin contact, so gloves would be recommended if that's the case for you.

I heat distilled water on the stove to the proper temp for mixing the stock solution, which goes into a plastic mixing bucket and the powder is gradually poured in while mixing the solution. This helps to minimize airborne dust. This is done outside to avoid the powder getting on any work surfaces, and some folks wear a mask to keep from breathing any in. Don't stir too rapidly or try shaking the container, you want to avoid mixing any air into the solution as this can affect it's shelf life. Just keep stirring and the powder will eventually dissolve.

I frequently rinse my hands during development if I touch any chemicals, but this is mostly to prevent any cross-contamination. Obviously, you want to ensure any darkroom chemicals are stored where children can't reach them. You can also try using HC110, which is a liquid concentrate developer and has an extremely long shelf life. No issues with airborne dust while mixing and just as versatile as D-76.
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Old 10-11-2018   #5
xayraa33
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You are not mixing a batch of mustard gas, just mix it outside if you and your wife are overly concerned.
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Old 10-11-2018   #6
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I did it for years with no ill effects. Some developers (metol, which is used in D-76) can cause a skin reaction, like a contact allergy. Wear kitchen rubber gloves and you should be fine. If you mix it on the balcony, my guess is you'll have no problems. Back in the day, I used Ilford ID-11, which was like D-76, but used phenidone as a developing agent instead of metol, which generally did not cause any skin reaction.
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Old 10-11-2018   #7
dave lackey
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Jeez, ask your doctor. And your wife!

A newborn requires a discerning professional, in my opinion. I use D76. But I would send my film off to an outside lab as I did forever if we had another baby or toddler around.

It was only after our grandchildren (and we kept them for years) were much older before I started developing my own. So, no, I would not have any chemicals that were not absolutely necessary and even then, I would keep them under lock and key.

Even laundry detergent like Tide in the fancy colors.
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Old 10-11-2018   #8
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I always mix any powdered chemical outdoors. The powder is toxic if you breathe it in, and any chemical is more dangerous to babies than to adults.


What I do is heat up the water indoors, put it in a plastic bucket and carry it outside. I pour in the powder out there, then bring the bucket back inside to stir it until the powder is all dissolved. Once the powder is in the water, even if it is not dissolved, it cannot get in the air for you to breathe it, so it is safe to stir inside.


Here's a video I made showing how I do it.


https://youtu.be/RvfSdlEoFyE
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Old 10-11-2018   #9
julio1fer
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You can mix it outdoors for peace of mind.

FWIW, I have used D-76 for about 50 years, both prepared from Kodak bags and mixed at home from the chemicals. I have always mixed it inside rooms, either a darkroom or the kitchen, without the least negative effect. With normal care there should be no problems at all, components are not that toxic or harmful. The most plentiful component, sulfite, is actually a food additive!
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Old 10-11-2018   #10
Steve M.
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It's not going to do much good asking your doctor because I highly doubt that they have a clue what is in D76. Just mix it on the balcony like everyone else suggested and you'll be fine. You really would have to stand right over it and breathe in the fumes to be at risk of anything. Outdoors, no risk at all to anyone.
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Old 10-11-2018   #11
Phil_F_NM
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The devil you don't know is always worse than the one you do. Realistically, the cleaners sitting in your cabinet under the sink are much worse than D76 powdered concentrate. Comet cleaner, Raid spray, some metal cleaners, powdered detergent, all at least as bad, if not worse than most photo chemistry in the solutions we use them in. If you start getting into using a dichromate, then some more serious safety measures and isolation should be done.

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Old 10-12-2018   #12
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Kodak Xtol claims to be less toxic than D76, and is safe to use with a septic system. I find Xtol finer-grained and sharper than D76 also. So, you may like to consider that next time. I still mix the power outdoors to minimise inhaling dust.
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Old 10-12-2018   #13
znapper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romeld View Post
Hey guys,

I received my order for my home developing kit and I decided to use a powder developer and fixer.

The problem is after reading the label in the back, my wife does not want me to make this stuff at home. I have a balcony I can mix it in and my tap goes up to 130F so I don't think I would really need to boil the water and make it in the kitchen.

She would prefer it if I drive to my parents place and make it there and then come back -.-

We also have a newborn which is probably why she doesn't want me touching this stuff at home.

Are her worries sound or should I be fine?

I find the warnings on those things to be exaggerated a lot.
The only time I've actually used (the oven) fan, was when I mixed a batch of ammonia based monobath.
I generally have a stock of measuring-cups and utensils for mixing chemicals, so I don't use kitchen stuff, but I have been know to use regular kitchen-ware for caffenol for example.

I often mix stuff up in the bathroom, where I develop my films.


As long as you clean up any mess, and store the chemicals far up and out of reach of nosy children so the child will not ingest anything, you will be perfectly fine.



I think you need to work many hours, daily, with regular BW developers to need any form of actual protection.


The highest risk is staining if you spill something.
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Old 10-12-2018   #14
Dogman
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We live in the time of the California warning: "Everything causes cancer". Meaningless phrases since manufacturers often put such warnings on items just to cover their rears or meet legal requirements. I've had a package of dried fruit with the California warning on it. The fruit came from California.

Even so, just go out on the balcony and mix the damn chemicals. Wives are always right.
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Old 10-12-2018   #15
ChrisPlatt
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When I was a poor student this was always the cheapest form of chemistry.
I inhaled plenty of D76 and Kodak fixer. It was irritating, though I can't
be sure of any long term health effects. It was annoying and unpleasant.

Now that I am older and not so strapped for cash I don't develop as often.
I now prefer long-lasting liquid concentrates, e.g. HC110 and Rodinal etc.

Chris
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Old 10-12-2018   #16
newsgrunt
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if it means keeping the peace, mix outside, but as others have noted, D76 is not a problem and I've spent countless hours in front of a large mixer dumping packet upon packet of this stuff. If you're really concerned, add the chemistry slowly so you don't get a cloud of powder.
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Old 10-12-2018   #17
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Get yourself a mask at your local hardware...

At least a decent one for fine dust (likely labeled for drywall).

I’ve mixed D76 without ever concerning myself, inside, with the dog watching. Common sense and a little care go a long way. I agree with mixing a tablespoon at a time and you’ll never need the mask.

Now to strip chrome off cameras, I typically wear a full respirator, dunk the parts and run. That stuff will melt the nose off your snot.
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Old 10-12-2018   #18
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I think I've read this tip on here, so I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet: If concerned about dust, you can submerge the packet of powder in the water and only then cut it open. Wear gloves without powdery stuff on the outside and use clean scissors, obviously.
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Old 10-12-2018   #19
Roger Hicks
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Do not touch it. You will die immediately and horribly, just as you will die immediately and horribly from unprotected sex, cholesterol, alcohol, red meat, preserved meat, salt, sugar, breathing in cities, not eating five vegetables a day, too much exercise and too little exercise.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-12-2018   #20
retinax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Do not touch it. You will die immediately and horribly, just as you will die immediately and horribly from unprotected sex, cholesterol, alcohol, red meat, preserved neat, breathing in cities, not eating five vegetables a day, too much exercise and too little exercise.

Cheers,

R.

And here's another post dramatizing the danger in anything fun. Modern rubbish, OP's toddler will be ok.
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Old 10-12-2018   #21
xayraa33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Do not touch it. You will die immediately and horribly, just as you will die immediately and horribly from unprotected sex, cholesterol, alcohol, red meat, preserved meat, salt, sugar, breathing in cities, not eating five vegetables a day, too much exercise and too little exercise.

Cheers,

R.
So you are saying that no matter how hard you try to get your self killed, if you wait long enough it will eventually come true.

Hank Williams said something about not getting out of this world alive in one of his songs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wawYQG8E3es
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Old 10-12-2018   #22
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Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
So you are saying that no matter how hard you try to get your self killed, if you wait long enough it will eventually come true. . . . .
No, no, no. If you never smoke, drink, eat fats of any kind, or salt, have sex or enjoy yourself in any way, you will live forever. Look at the countless examples of 200+-year-olds who support this thesis.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-12-2018   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
No, no, no. If you never smoke, drink, eat fats of any kind, or salt, have sex or enjoy yourself in any way, you will live forever. Look at the countless examples of 200+-year-olds who support this thesis.

Cheers,

R.
Ah yes, those 200 year olds have longevity on their side, but they certainly have lived boring lives.

I started adding half a teaspoon of sea salt to my drinking water glass first thing in the morning. I am feeling much better than before arthritis wise because of consuming salty water but unfortunately I will not see a day beyond 108 years of age.
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Old 10-12-2018   #24
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Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
Ah yes, those 200 year olds have longevity on their side, but they certainly have lived boring lives.

I started adding half a teaspoon of sea salt to my drinking water glass first thing in the morning. I am feeling much better than before arthritis wise because of consuming salty water but unfortunately I will not see a day beyond 108 years of age.
I know the problem. Among all the 200-year-olds I've ever met.... No, wait a minute...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-12-2018   #25
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I mixed it in basement (darkroom and slop sink near washing machine) for many years. If you wife says do it outside figure out a way to do it outside.

It's rather like chewing tar from a truck patching streets, my 97 year old father-in-law did it.........

Keep the peace.

B2 (;->
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Old 10-12-2018   #26
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I mixed it in basement (darkroom and slop sink near washing machine) for many years. If you wife says do it outside figure out a way to do it outside.

Keep the peace.

B2 (;->
That would be my philosophy on the issue.
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Old 10-12-2018   #27
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D-76 is less toxic to you and your children than dryer sheets. The formulas are proprietary and secret, but if you knew what was in dryer sheets you would stay far, far, away from them. Similar thing with a lot of other products (especially products containing synthetic fragrances) around many people's homes. In my house, we have developer in bottles, but no scented laundry soap, no perfumes, very little cleaning product.

Powdered stuff is always mixed outside. That's a "no-brainer".
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Old 10-12-2018   #28
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..... but if you knew what was in dryer sheets you would stay far, far, away from them. .......
About 15 years ago we were using them to keep bees away from kids for T-Ball/Baseball and Soccer/Football.

Seems that bees might not only be able to fly better than we can, but naturally avoid bad stuff.

B2 (;->
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Old 10-13-2018   #29
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There is a Shel Silverstein song that details all the healthy things a person should do to live a long life. The title is "You're Still Gonna Die". It's worth an internet search to find the lyrics, maybe a YouTube performance. Seems a bit appropriate considering....
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Old 10-13-2018   #30
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My understanding is that breathing in dust from the powder is the most pressing concern. I prefer Ilfordís almost-identical ID-11 but avoid dust inhalation simply by lowering each sachet into my container of tempered water and wetting the contents before extracting them. A little gentle swilling is needed to get the contents out for mixing but itís not problematic. By wetting the powder first the dust issue is completely avoided.

Itís all very well to say, mix chemicals outside on a balcony. But what if itís windy? You might have more dust exposure as a result, than may be the case carefully mixing developer indoors in your laundry or bathroom. Surely it depends on the prevailing weather as to whether mixing outdoors is best.
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Old 10-13-2018   #31
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I have mixed chemistry indoors for years and have never had any problems. This idea of driving to another location to mix D76 is the craziest thing I have ever heard.

However, to keep the peace, mix it outdoors. Maybe that will make the wife happy.
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Old 10-13-2018   #32
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I am surprised at the sheer number of responses about something as simple as mixing a bag of D76. A little common sense is all that is required. Pour it in and stir. What did we do before the internet made this all possible?
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Old 10-13-2018   #33
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.... What did we do before the internet made this all possible?
Only suspect that there were other folk equally as touched as we were.

Now we know.....

B2 (;->
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Old 10-13-2018   #34
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Consuming a dry gin martini just before mixing a packet of D76 will most likely alleviate any real or imagined harm from that Rochester brew.
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Old 10-13-2018   #35
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Consuming a dry gin martini just before mixing a packet of D76 will most likely alleviate any real or imagined harm from that Rochester brew.
I was thinking of a couple of Genesee beers to wash down a gut bomb from Schaller's.....

But a martini would work too.

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Old 10-13-2018   #36
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I was thinking of a couple of Genesee beers to wash down a gut bomb from Schaller's...
Genny would probably dissolve film.

Chris
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Old 10-13-2018   #37
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If you get a metol sensistivity, Do not go near it for life. This is rare, very rare, but mixing outside is safe. Or under a range hood with outside venting.

Xtol is nice. Tank car quantities are not.
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Old 10-13-2018   #38
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D76 is great, but there are plenty of other excellent developers.
Suggest next time you buy one in liquid or syrup concentrate form.

Chris
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Old 10-13-2018   #39
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Dont do it, it radioactive! o_o
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Old 10-13-2018   #40
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Thanks for all the input everyone. I ended up just making it in the balcony while taking extra caution to get any powder on me or inhale it. So far so good!

Now time to try and develop a roll!

Will most likely also just get a liquid concentrate next time :P
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