Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/10/23

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Effluent disposal
From: "Glen M. Robinson" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 15:25:54 -0500 (Ted Grant) on 10/23/98 02:39:39 PM

Look, when you're ready to dump your trays, dump them all together and stir
well. Each will kill off the other and then add gallons of water and flush
down the drain with lots and lots of running water. Everything becomes so
diluted, it's dead liquid anyway by this time, and it's gone without any
effect to the environment. Obviously I'm not talking about hundreds of
gallons here, but a tray full of happy snap printing.


Since I started a heated discussion about disposing photographic chemicals
in a yard, let us examine this issue deeper.  I use Kodak XTOL as my film
developer and Ilford Bromophen as my paper developer.  I avoid metol
containing developers (MQ) because they are the usual cause of photographic
chemical allergies that have been discussed by others today.  Examples of
MQ developers are D-76, ID-11, D-72, and Dektol.  The developing agents in
XTOL are ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and hydroquinone and those in Bromophen
are Phenidone and hydroquinone.  Neither vitamin C or Phenidone are toxic.
Hydroquinone is toxic, but is not considered to be an allergen.  Most
developers also contain sodium sulfite and other ingredients such as boric
acid and potassium bromide.  The only one of these ingredients that can
cause environmental harm is hydroquinone.  Fortunately it will quickly
oxidize and degrade when exposed to soil, air, and sunlight.  Proof of this
degradation is the formation of colored patches where the chemicals are
dumped on the ground.  Since drainfield pipes are several feet deep,
photographic chemicals do not have the opportunity to be degraded by the
ultraviolet light from the sun so I consider dumping small amounts of
photographic chemicals in a yard or woods a safer means of disposal than
flushing it down the drain.  If you recall, I do not recommend disposing of
fixer in this manner.

Glen Robinson