Re: Environmental Impact

From: George L Smyth ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 03/31/05-09:31:39 AM Z
Message-id: <>

Rick -

Good questions. As the computer department for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation a
number of years ago I had the same questions. Extreme dilution really is the
key upon which we all rely. The most toxic substance you will be using with
the conventional process will be your fixer. Dumping it into a bush would be a
very big no-no. If you feel that you absolutely must do this then I would
recommend tossing a steel wool pad into the fixer first. The pad will collect
the silver, but the negative here is that I do not really have a timeframe for
this happening - it could take days.

In my opinion, the only proper way to do this is to collect all of the fluids
and haul it offsite. Unless you are well versed in the environmental impact of
all of your chemicals, I think that you will have a hard time explaining any
other actions to someone questioning what you are doing (that assumes they ask
- you may not have a chance to explain things).

Cheers -


--- Rick Retzlaff <> wrote:
> Hello
> I am going to be conducting an outdoor workshop in traditional photography
> and alternative printing this summer. The festival I am working with is
> very much environmentally conscious and that has me thinking about the
> impact of what I intend to do this summer. In particular, the following
> questions come to mind:
> On-site negative processing -- at home we probably all just flush the stuff
> down the drain. However, what is the real impact of this stuff? Does the
> waste treatment system deal with this in any rational way? Or do we count
> on extreme dilution to make it insignificant? What would be the impact if
> these chemicals were dumped into the bush? Luckily, I am hoping to not do a
> lot of this and anything that I will be doing will be collected and taken
> off site.
> Cyanotype printing (traditional formula) - similar questions as above. In
> particular, I plan to do quite a bit of cyanotype printing on paper and
> fabric. Ideally, it would be the easiest to just wash out the cyanotype
> into the environment (ie bush) directly. Otherwise, we would have to
> collect it in bins and haul it away to dump into a waste treatment system of
> some sort.
> Has anybody given this any thought?
> Richard Retzlaff
> Radical Eye Photography Ltd.
> (306) 652 8894 Saskatoon, SK

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Received on Thu Mar 31 09:31:56 2005

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