Health & Safety FAQ's

Using Photographic Chemicals whilst Pregnant or Breast Feeding

This is covered in our health and safety section,

 Where can I find you Health and Safety Data Sheets

Please visit our health and safety section, where all our MSDS can be found

What ventilation do I need in my darkroom?

 Smells and fumes from darkroom chemicals and heat from enlargers and lamps are best eliminated by some sort of extract in the room OR by opening the room up between processes.
If you are going to be in a darkroom for longer lengths of time it is useful to set up an extract fan with some sort of light proofing (baffles/black drapes, long duct) which still allows airflow. Also, cover your photo chemicals when not in use (trays/tanks etc.).
With these precautions, you will be able to remain safe and comfortable within the darkroom.
The following extract is aimed at commercial/educational darkrooms and will give you an indication of what is required.
 This is the UK Industry recommendation and is from a document called:
"Heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration. CIBSE Guide B"
( CIBSE = Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers)
"Darkrooms (photographic) 6-8 ACH (but heat gain should be assessed) Darkrooms (photographic)

Small darkrooms for occasional use or for purely developing processes may often be ventilated naturally
with a suitable light trap, although consideration should be given to providing mechanical extract using an air
change rate of 6 to 8 air changes per hour. For general purpose darkrooms, however, the air change rate should
be ascertained from a consideration of the heat gain from the enlarger, lights etc. plus the occupants, on the basis of
a temperature rise of 5-6 K. In industrial and commercial darkrooms that have machine processing, the machines
will very often have their own extract ducting, the air supply being drawn from the room itself. It will usually be
necessary to provide a warmed and filtered mechanical inlet in such cases. In special cases, involving extensive
washing processes, the humidity gain may be significant and require consideration."
ACH = Air changes per hour.
Calculate this my multiplying HxWxD for the room in metres to give m3.
Measure airflow of extract vent in m/second.
Multiply by Vent HxW in metres to give m3 per second.
Multiply that by 3600 to give m3 per hour.
Divide flow volume by room volume to give ACH.

You can find more information about working safely in our learning zone.