Health, Safety, Environmental Impact
We hold copies of H&S data sheets for the the chemicals we sell which we can provide in the event you need further copies.
Photographic chemistry and art products are unfortunately not benign, either in their use or disposal.
Basic safety handling is required regardless of whether or not a safety warning is to be found on the product. However, most chemistry is ‘safe’ to use as sold, but the basic safety rules apply:
- do not handle raw chemicals or unmixed chemistry without gloves
- wear goggles when mixing chemistry or using compressed air
- have access to running water
- do not use chemistry in a unventilated area
- do not use chemistry or compressed air near a naked flame
- do not dispose of chemistry anywhere where it could mix with ground water
Some chemistry have a lesser impact than others, the warning signs on the bottles and packets will give you a clue, but feel free to ask us.
Individual practice also has an impact: whether you use chemistry as a one shot or endeavour to recycle it, maximising efficiency to reduce waste. The same principle applies to inkjet printing where profiling and careful layouts can do much to reduce waste.
Some papers have a FSC or equivalent accreditation. FSC accreditation is however lost as soon as someone along the chain is not FSC accreditated, therefore currently FSC is not a reliable measure for fine art papers. But generally, you can gauge the impact as follow: unspecified papers are made of pulp, rag is made of cotton, bamboo and Japanese Mulberry (Kozo) are fast growing renewable fibre sources. Paper production uses a lot of water, be it industrial or small scale.
Paper is either internally or externally sized, and many contain animal products. All but one item in the Hahnemühle Fine Art inkjet range is certified vegan. Awagami's size is of vegetal origin, etc.
All film and darkroom papers contain gelatin, so does Liquid Emulsion.
Transparency inkjet and photocopier films can contain animal products as do most photo inkjet papers. Of course even digital imaging equipments (anything with cadmium, etc) are not free of animal by-products. It is however possible, albeit not easy, to minimise animal products and we would be happy to advise you.
Our packaging is either recycled and or reclaimed, the only exception being the plastic bags issued by the courier companies for the transport of chemistry.
Beyond 'tree hugging' we are keen to support good human practice by paying the Living Wage and supporting foremost brands and companies that understand our ethical and environmental concerns.