Some people are very susceptible to the irritating effect produced on the skin by coal tar developers. Others working under the same conditions are not at all affected.

The results in all cases are about the same and the same preventive measures may be used. From a digest of all the available information on the subject it appears that the chemical poisoning is secondary to the action of the alkali in the developer on the skin.

The alkali partially dissolves the outer skin and causes deep cracks to form. This exposes the under layers of the skin to attack by the developing agent and its oxidation products.

The following facts have been fairly well established. Potassium Carbonate in a developer is slightly less liable to cause the trouble than Sodium Carbonate. This is because Potassium Carbonate absorbs moisture from the air and remains in solution, while Sodium Carbonate dries to a powdery form on the hands and causes the skin to crack. The use of Potassium Carbonate, however, does not prevent the trouble.

A non-alkaline developer like Amidol or Acrol does not give much trouble, although a few cases of Amidol poisoning are on record. In this case also the drying of the Sodium Sulphite on the hands has the effect of causing the skin to crack in the same way as Sodium Carbonate.

It is very necessary, therefore, when working with chemical solutions to thoroughly remove them from the hands by washing with water before crystallization takes place within the pores of the skin. The reason why most poisoning is caused by developers is because it is very difficult to remove alkali from the skin by washing, especially if the skin is at all cracked. By bathing the hands in a weak solution of acid the alkali is neutralized and the salt thus formed is very readily removed by washing.

Bathing the hands in weak acid at intervals during development is almost a certain preventive and several cases are recorded where a cure has been effected by rubbing the hands well several times a day with the following:

Acetic Acid No. 8 ........... 1 oz.

Water..... 2 ozs.

Salt...... 1 tblsp.

A two per cent. solution of Hydrochloric acid to be used in the same way, is also recommended.

If an acid stop bath is used between developing and fixing, bathing the hands is done unconsciously, and several persons are known to have been cured in this way. It is very important, however, to thoroughly wash the hands in water after treatment with the acid.

Chemical Poisoning StudioLightMagazine1918 36


By The Luck Illustrating Co. Cleveland, Ohio

If the hands are badly stained with the developing agent the stain should be removed, otherwise it may act as a continuous irritant when the skin is cracked and its pores are open. This may be done by washing the hands in a permanganate solution and subsequently removing the stain with oxalic acid. The permanganate will cause a smarting sensation for the time being, but this is counteracted by the oxalic acid, which removes both the oxidized developing agent and the permanganate stain and leaves the irritated skin in a better condition for healing. The following strengths of solutions should be used:


Potassium Permanganate



Sulphuric Acid (concentrated)....







Oxalic acid ...........






After treatment with oxalic acid the hands should be washed thoroughly.

Once the skin is clean and free from irritating chemicals a cold cream or ointment may effectively be used to prevent access of the developer to the under layers of the skin. Healing is sometimes aided by an ointment of the following nature:

Ichthyol...... 1 oz.

Resorcin..... 1 oz.

Glycerine..... 1 oz.

Zinc oxide..... 1/2 oz.

White paraffin ointment 6 ozs.

To summarize, the best preventive is to wash the hands thoroughly immediately after removing them from the chemical solutions. When developing, the hands should be frequently rinsed in the acid stop bath or in the wash water, in order to prevent, at any time, the crystallization of the solution on the hands. Before drying the hands should be washed with a weak acid solution and thoroughly rinsed for one or two minutes in plain water.

The best cure would seem to be a thorough cleansing of the hands, which will remove any trace of the chemical which causes the irritation and the use of an oily ointment which will fill the pores of the skin and prevent the poison from again reaching the sensitive under layers of the skin.

The use of rubber gloves is advisable in effecting a cure, as they afford the best possible protection. In all cases it is advisable to consult a physician, as the condition of one's health has a general bearing on local affections of this nature.

Chemical Poisoning StudioLightMagazine1918 38


By The Luck Illustrating Co. Cleveland, Ohio


Commercial Ortho Film is the latest addition to the list of film products which have been offered the photographer. As with other film products it has been given a thorough try-out in advance of its general announcement to the profession and it has more than made good in the special work for which it is intended.Upon the introduction of Portrait Film the commercial photographer saw its advantages and was quick to make use of them.

Portrait Film could not be improved upon for many subjects, but the great amount of commercial work requiring a slower emulsion with a steeper scale of contrast made a film of these qualities especially desirable, and this demand has been met by Eastman Commercial Film,which was announced in July, 1917.

Eastman Commercial Ortho Film now makes the film line about as complete as the commercial worker could wish it. It has considerably more speed than the Seed 23 Plate, great latitude, fine grain and, in addition, orthochromatic quality that is equal if not superior to that of any commercial ortho plate made.

Commercial Ortho Films will answer every requirement of the commercial worker for color sensitiveness, except for those few subjects requiring the red-sensitive Panchromatic emulsion. It gives excellent separation of yellows and greens, and is so sensitive to these colors that when the Wratten K filters are used, the factor with the K 1 filter is only 3 1/2 and with the K2 filter, 15.

These factors, which show the number of times the exposure without a filter must be multiplied to secure the same exposure when the filter is used, are based on exposures that show shadow detail and indicate the extreme color sensitiveness of Ortho film.

For furniture work, the majority of yellow woods, including unfinished mahogany, can, as a rule, be photographed with the K 1 filter with excellent results. As an object will photograph very much as it appears when viewed through the filter, the correct filter to use can often be determined in this way.

Commercial Ortho Film, in addition to the quality of its emulsion, has all the advantages of other film products - is non-halation, unbreakable, light in weight and convenient to handle. It is furnished in regular sizes at the same prices as for Eastman Portrait Film and can be furnished by your stock house.

For certainty of results use Seed Plates and Artura Papers.

Chemical Poisoning StudioLightMagazine1918 40


By The Luck Illustrating Co. Cleveland, Ohio