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07-11-2012, 02:02 PM   #1
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Old chemicals

Hi

I have some bags of powder chemicals from the middel of the 1980. Should I just dispose of this or could it still work? It is a tin can of D-76, a paper bag of D-76 and some FujiFix.

Its been some 20 years since I last devloped film, looking forward to doing it again!

07-11-2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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I'm a chemist, but I don't specialize in photographic chemistry.
If they were stored dry and not exposed to excess heat, the tin is probably good, the bag is likely good (it's foil-lined, as I recall), and the fix is good.
You might find some deterioration of the developers, depending on the humidity and termperature of storage, but probably not so much as to make them worthless - I'd bet you won't be able to detect any change. Still, developer's not terribly expensive - unless you're doing it totally for fun, you might want to simply get fresh.
If you dispose of them, you ought to do so as chemical waste, not in the municipal trash.
Best wishes
07-12-2012, 12:18 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jford Quote
I'm a chemist, but I don't specialize in photographic chemistry.

If you dispose of them, you ought to do so as chemical waste, not in the municipal trash.
Best wishes
Hello jford.

Thanks for your tips. I will of course return the chemicals to our local recycling place that handles toxic waste.

Can I dispose of the diluted chemisty in the drain or should that also be treated as toxic?

Thanks.
07-14-2012, 06:53 PM   #4
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Well...here in the US, small batches by private individuals would likely go down the municipal drain and not violate any laws. OTOH, where I teach, the same material has to go out as hazardous waste. In Norway, I have no idea of the legalities - but if you're only talking a pint of developer, stop, and fix every week or so - the stop can go down the drain without concern (it's basically strong vinegar with a small amount of indicator). The fix isn't so harmless, but it's not too bad. The developer on the other hand is a bit dubious - it contains small amounts of some pretty obnoxious things. Forty years ago, I threw it down the sink. But today I know better. But I don't do film any more. Last time I did, I allowed the developer to evaporate to a solid and discarded it with some of the other chemicals in my lab...but you can't do that. To be frank, the ethical thing is to dispose of the developer as toxic waste.

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