[Alt-photo] Dichromate Poisoning

Jim Patterson jimbobnola at cox.net
Thu Oct 26 17:42:03 UTC 2017

Hi All,
Being an occupational physician I am aware of the risks of Chromium VI.  On the certification exams they always have questions on chrome holes, perforated nasal septum, and nasopharyngeal and sinus cancer.

I have been a student of Chris and she preaches safe handling and personal protective equipment.

In the past 2 yrs I have been experimenting with alternate Sensitizers and colloids.  The most promising at the moment are Cerium IV Ammonium Sulfate and Eosin Y.

Both of these harden gum Arabic, gelatin, fish glue, cellulose gum, PVP and others.  I am not saying they are better than GB, but are alternatives.

Jim Patterson, New Orleans

Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 26, 2017, at 2:12 AM, Charles Berger via Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:
> My post was prompted by the declaration of a highly regarded arts
> educator/author that if/when dichromate was restricted here, as it is in
> the EU, she had a sufficient supply for her and her students to continue
> using it indefinitely.
> This cavalier attitude towards the use of dichromate for the sake of
> photographic printmaking is ill advised as it implies that the dangers are
> not to be taken seriously.
> Responses ranged (with a few exceptions) from the abusive (and idiotic)
> advise not to “lick the top of Cherry wood table” to a non-sequitur
> description of the installation of seat belts in a 1956 Oldsmobile.
> The point I was making is that there is little discussion of dichromate
> poisoning and a lack of detailed information (beyond “wear gloves”) on its
> safe use in the current literature on alternative photo processes. Perhaps
> Marton was correct when he wrote about “The Dichromate Disease” in The *Photo
> Oleograph Process*(1900) that “Rich living and alcoholic stimulants, seem
> to foster this peculiar ailment”,  and thus all we need to do is avoid such
> behaviors to safely work with dichromate.
> Why are so many of you upset about discussing this? And why do you feel
> compelled to defend this lack of concern and to dismiss any in-depth
> information on the subject as “scare tactics?”
> Full disclosure:  I have recently been exploring with Chris the creation of
> a book (or series of books) describing non-toxic alternatives to historic
> photographic printmaking. Her statement caught me completely by surprise. I
> am confident that Chris is truly concerned with the health and safety of us
> all, but this dismissive attitude is unfortunate.
> Charles
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