[Alt-photo] Dichromate Poisoning

Charles Berger fotocmb at gmail.com
Tue Oct 24 02:51:13 UTC 2017


Chris:

Dick Sullivan is one of the last persons to be cited as a source for
accurate information on the safe use of dichromate.  See his YouTube (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=168&v=ljT3eyCpIns) where he is
using dichromate to prepare a plate for gravure printing.  Although he is
wearing gloves, at  2:48 you can see him reach up with his dichromate
contaminated gloved hand to rub his nose.  Perhaps he is unaware that one
of the many respiratory effects following chromium inhalation “can
include ulceration
of the nasal mucosa with possible septal perforation [Lindberg and
Hedenstierna 1983; Dayan and Paine 2001]
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=10&po=10

To argue that folks can get cancer from many sources is not very helpful
when discussing this subject.  It is interesting that you referenced your
former alt teacher who is now 80 and struggles with bladder cancer.  Chromium
is almost entirely excreted through urine (
http://homepage.vghtpe.gov.tw/~jcma/72/4/219.pdf) and thus can be a hidden
cause of kidney, liver and bladder cancers.

The EPA is quite clear that art instructors have the obligation “to ensure
a safe environment for everyone – themselves, their students, other faculty
members and visitors to the classroom or studio.”  As part of the
management structure, it is important how you present this safety
information. (*The Workers Right to Know, 4.2.2*) and your dismissive
attitude “*last time I ordered dichromate for the school I got a 5-lb
container, which would make 2000 prints. I figured that amount would get my
students through to my retirement :). So if they ban purchasing it in the
US I will be good to go for at least a while.”)* is unfortunate (and
potentially illegal).  Clearly you view this as more of an inconvenience
than as a serious heath hazard.


Walker:

You are correct. I  found that at

http://www.nontoxicprint.com/safetyinphotography.htm

which seemed to attribute it to the EPA H&S Guide.  However, on re-reading
the page, it appears that it is not a quote from that document.

Apologies for the confusion.


Charles


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