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  • Use common sense. Pace yourself when working in the darkroom. Take regular outside rest periods so that intense, prolonged exposure to any potentially toxic materials is reduced.

  • Always use revolving door for entrance. Always assume there is someone inside.

  • Protect yourself from chemical absorption through the skin. Tongs or gloves are recommended.

  • Avoid cross-contamination by using tongs and trays only with the chemicals for which they are labeled to.

  • Use care with all the equipment, they can be fragile so do not "force" equipment.

  • Members should be respectful of others and should attempt to remove prints and film from wash stations promptly, in order to give the next person access to the washer.

  • Do not splash chemicals.  Gently place prints into each solution to prevent splashing.

  • Wipe up spills immediately.

  • You are not to mix your own chemicals from powders or liquid concentrates without permission.

  • Diluted chemicals can be left in their trays at the end of a session if not exhausted. Cover each tray with another inverted tray and write on the dry erase board the date and time you poured them signed by your initials.

  • Used film and paper fixer should reused until exhausted. Pour into designated jug before leaving.

  • Pour exhausted fixer in designated jug, do not pour down drain.


  • Safelight District is a membership based work space. Only registered members who are in good standing on payments are allowed to work in this space. Members may not bring guests into the work space without prior authorization.

  • Must complete a membership application, liability release form and signature of consent to rules and hazards.

  • Members use Safelight District at their own risk.

  • Must either have proof of prior darkroom experience or pass workshop before becoming a member.

  • Members will receive a special key code and will be able to come and go as long as they add it to our Google calendar prior to arriving.

  • First-come-first-served basis on equipment.

  • Safelight District provides basic Ilford black and white developing chemicals for use in the darkroom.

  • Safelight District reserves the right to revoke without refund the membership of any members who consistently do not follow darkroom operations, clean according to guidelines, or respect other members.

  • Safelight District is not liable for any items left in the darkroom by members.

  • Hours are subject to change.


  • Black & White Developer: Can cause allergic reaction and allergic sensitivity, and is especially hazardous during stock mixing stage. Use gloves when mixing working solutions and avoid skin contact with both powder and solution.

  • Stop Bath: Concentrate is toxic via skin contact, inhalation or ingestion. Long-term, improper, inhalation of working solution can cause severe sinusitis and bronchitis. Always measure water first and then add acid. If you splash in your eyes or skin, follow the procedures above.

  • Fixer: Not significantly hazardous, but there is a chance for skin irritation and allergies. If you splash in your eyes or skin, follow the procedures above.

  • Toners: Some are highly toxic and some are only mildly toxic. If you are using a toner, never mix it with stop bath or fixers due to the potential release of poisonous gas like hydrogen sulfide. Always wash prints very thoroughly before toning them.


  • Before you leave, make sure your enlarger station or work space is in the condition you found it. All equipment should remain with their designated enlargers (lenses, film carriers, and timers). Make sure all other equipment is returned to their respective storage areas (Grain focusers, easels, and filters).

  • Thoroughly wash any and all print developing trays, tongs, beakers, and any other lab equipment and leave to dry in the sink.

  • Thoroughly wash all film tanks and leave all components unassembled and inverted, in designated areas under the sink.

  • Place any completely dry equipment under the sink in the designated storage area.

  • Leave your initials and the time/date you arrive and leave next to the cleaning sheet by the revolving door.

  • Cleaning supplies are located in the closet upper shelf.

  • If an incident happens, equipment isn't working properly or we are running low on a certain chemical, send us an e-mail so we can re-stock.


  • Most B&W chemicals are non-toxic or only slightly toxic, but please do not ingest, inhale or allow them to come in direct contact with your bare skin.

  • There is a slight chance of bronchitis, sinusitis, allergic sensitivity, skin rashes and other potential damage (primarily that occurs from long-term, unsafe exposure), please follow all guidelines.

  • If you notice any sensitivity or change in your health while working in the Darkroom, please immediately consult your physician.

  • If you are pregnant, see your doctor before using the darkroom.

  • Inhalation of Chemistry: Move to fresh air immediately. If you are struggling to breathe, call 911.

  • Ingestion of Chemistry: Call poison control at 1-800-222-1222 and tell them what the person ingested and follow their directions to help the person. If more information is needed for poison control, check the MSDS (Materials Data Sheets) for all the chemicals we use in the Darkroom. DO NOT induce vomiting unless poison control tells you to do so, and DO NOT give liquids to a person that is unconscious.

  • Chemicals Splashed in Eyes: Immediately flood the eyes with cold water at the restroom sink. Rinse them for 15 minutes. Seek immediate medical attention.

  • Chemicals Splashed on Skin: Immediately flood skin with cold water at the white utility sink. Seek immediate medical attention if any severe change in skin condition occurs.


  • Prolonged and repeated exposures to photographic chemicals, as with any chemical substance, can lead to chronic health problems. The degree of risk depends on several factors: length of exposure, frequency and amount of exposure, toxicity of the materials, total body burden (the cumulative effect on the body of all the different exposures to any single chemical and other chemicals from various sources). Individual susceptibility must also be taken into account. Some people are more susceptible to harm from a particular chemical than are other people. High-risk groups include smokers, heavy alcohol drinkers, and people with chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, kidney, and liver. Pregnant and lactating women are a very high-risk group because even minute amounts of many chemicals may damage a fetus or be transmitted through the milk to the nursing child.

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