Hmmm.... Selenium is Poisonous?????

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Gatsby1923, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Gatsby1923

    Gatsby1923 Member

    Messages:
    243
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    Holyoke, MA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    OK, I know Selenium toner is poisonous but I still say the best way to tell if it is fresh is to get down and smell it...

    Just kidding of course :smile:
     
  2. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    5,357
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    David... have you been doing too much toning lately??? :wink:

    gene
     
  3. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,949
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Brandon, MB
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hah, that's ridiculous of course.

    The proper way is to rub it into an open cut, as everyone knows.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,050
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    North East U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hmm, I thought that was the test for fixer
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    22,874
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    paswonquitte
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:

    you obviously didn't see that episode of house, did you :wink:
     
  6. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I did. Nasty stuff, but I'm pretty sure you need a whole lot of exposure to get into that condition.

    The smell of selenium toner is ammonia. The ammonia is from the ammonium thiosulfate, of which there is plenty in the toner. As long as you don't drink the stuff, or soak your hands in it, you're safe.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    27,647
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Selenium smells like garlic. If you smell it in the toner, or on your breath, you are in trouble.

    Symptoms include imptence, nausea, vomiting, and a whole host of other stuff like hair loss. Have fun.

    PE
     
  8. domaz

    domaz Member

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I saw some granola bars or something at the Whole Foods store (fancy grocery store) and one of the packages actually said "now with Selenium". That sure made me want to buy it.
     
  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,255
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Pure selenium isn't so lethal; it is found in various nutritional supplements :wink: yum.

    H2Se, on the other hand, are highly lethal. The good news is that, as I recall, it smells so gawdawful that the chances of you getting poisoned before smelling it very strongly are low. I mean, you will probably be vomiting convulsively just from the smell long before you reach toxicity. Same for various organoselenides that I had the (dis)pleasure of working with. I can still remember that rancid smell... and I was wearing a respirator, mask, double gloves, jacket, and working with the material in a fume hood!

    I don't know what form the Se is in, in the toner.
     
  10. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

    Messages:
    460
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Location:
    Waltershause
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Which episode of my esteemed, but grumpy colleagues television series is this? And more importantly, are they doing a macular biopsy with an aspiration needle poked right through the cornea to find it? Being an ophthalmologist, that always makes my day.
     
  11. Curt

    Curt Member

    Messages:
    4,623
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Similar to seeing a recent copy of my 401K. :surprised:
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,255
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Haha, when I was working with that sh*t I would have been a perfect patient for House. After a few months working with diphenyl diselenide I started to have little mini-blackouts, just a small fraction of a second in length. So I could be walking or driving and it'd be like my vision just skipped a frame somehow. House would have done a biopsy of my left nut and put me in a coma on ice, probably.

    Anyway, I got tested in a more conventional way and nothing was found, but.. the odd symptoms completely subsided a few weeks after I told my advisor that I would cease all work with these compounds base don my own gut feelings about them. Coincidentally, it was right around that time that a very respected chemist (Wetterhahn) died of very small exposure to dimethyl mercury through a glove. That's a compound that was on my to-do list for the experiment that I was working on. Turns out that these compounds are so nasty that very little is known about them. Even people who should know about them don't always.
     
  13. eddym

    eddym Member

    Messages:
    1,927
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hmmm... maybe that's why I don't have any kids...!
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

    Messages:
    909
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Cary, North
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    You still have a 401k. After last year, I have a 201k. :D
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    9,154
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  17. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That would explain my violent headaches, road-rage, erratic behavior, sudden twitches and loss of appetite....... Better put some ventilation in.

    Dang, and I really liked the smell .......:D
     
  18. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

    Messages:
    883
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Here I thought I was just getting older, having hit the big 50 last year. Maybe I have been working with Selenium too much.
     
  19. Kvistgaard

    Kvistgaard Member

    Messages:
    283
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Svendborg, D
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is definitely one of the more enjoyable threads I've read in a while :smile:
    On a serious note (sorry!) I have begun toning all prints outside in my garden, after reading about the toxicity of selenium elsewhere.

    But definitely keep it going - more war stories, please!

    /Søren
    (two kids, hair intact, no recent vomiting, nausea)
     
  20. I will not go over to the dark side until I can make photographic prints with toxic solutions!

    Steve
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    27,647
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Acutually, according to some sources, Pyrogallol and Catechol are as poisonous as some Selenium compounds. This is mentioned for example in Anchell and Troop.

    PE
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,453
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The major danger from Selenium is lack of it, a huge number of people across the world take Selenium supplement tablets because they have a deficiency. There's probably more papers written every year about this than there are people who suffer Selenium poisoning :D

    Ian
     
  23. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And, I do know that they are using Selenium to fight (or as a cure for) Lung Cancer......

    hmmmmmm.....
     
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    27,647
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Many chemicals are needed by the human body, but in tiny amounts. They are used as metal complexing agents or inclusions in enzymes. Too much and they become toxic. Iron is needed for healthy blood to make red blood cells and transport oxygen via the complex hemoglobin. Too much causes the disease Hemochromatosis in which the liver is damaged unless they remove iron from the body. They do this by taking a pint of blood about every month.

    Most metals are double edged swords. Mercury is not. It is toxic in any amount. Tellurium is not... Etc..

    PE
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2009
  25. eddym

    eddym Member

    Messages:
    1,927
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The first step to the cure is admitting you have an addiction... :wink:
     
  26. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I thought all of those attributes were just me, but I guess it was the chemicals - back to the darkroom I go.......... ha ha!


    So, I am no longer responsible for my actions......... cool!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2009