Safe Handling, Storage, and Destruction of Nitrate-Based Motion Picture Films Association (NFPA), Standard for the Storage and Handling of Cellulose Nitrate Motion Picture Film, 1994 added safety. After 1951, no cellulose nitrate motion picture film was IDENTIFICATION
that passes the ISO 435 test for burning associated with cellulose nitrate motion cellulose nitrate film, which would also information in this publication is based SAFE HANDLING
As cellulose nitrate film decomposes, it decomposition, do not unroll the films.
Another test to distinguish nitrate film will accelerate the decomposition of the from safety film is to punch or cut a 1/4- airborne concentration of the vapors and Cellulose nitrate films will sink in the ensures that exposure limits established liquid and safety films will float to the surface. Cellulose nitrate films that have test in a well ventilated area to minimize of used trichloroethylene as a hazardous injury, always wear impervious gloves, DETERIORATION
cellulose nitrate film, decomposition of the film also can present safety concerns deterioration of cellulose nitrate films can be divided in to five distinct stages: decomposition. You can preserve or duplicate cellulose nitrate films until the third stage of decomposition. Cellulose Film has an amber discoloration with fading of the image. Faint nox- nitrate films that have reached the third ious odor. Rust ring may form on inside of metal film cans.
Emulsion becomes adhesive and the film tends to stick together dur- historical value, should be destroyed at Portions of the film are soft, contain gas bubbles, and emit a noxious odor.
Entire film is soft and welded into a single mass, the surface may be covered with viscous froth, and a strong noxious odor is given off.
Film mass degenerates partially or entirely into a shock sensitive brownish acrid powder.
Safe Handling, Storage, and Destruction of Nitrate-Based Motion Picture Films • H-182 (ENG) PROJECTION
185°F accelerates decomposition of these films. While they deteriorate, Choosing a storage facility for cellulose nitrate-based films can develop pressure and heat in the film can, especially when the can is taped closed. Contained gases For short-term storage, you can use approved film cabinets for storing up to foot rolls). Use vaults for longer-term storage of amounts up to 750 pounds. characteristics. Improper projection can the lids or use tight-fitting lids unless in vaults. Be sure to segregate cellulose the projection of cellulose nitrate films nearby acetate and polyester base films, so you will need to store cellulose nitrate cabinets or vaults that contain individual older theaters were typically constructed nitrate films. If your cellulose nitrate films need to be stored, but have started vault, and maintain the relative humidity to deteriorate, you must store them in an area that is separate from other cellulose requirements, store the film at 35°F at 20- to 30-percent relative humidity.
in single or double roll containers or in cellulose nitrate film without air cooling nitrate films prior to vault storage. If stage. Therefore, do not return film that your storage vault for long-term storage. film and then send the cellulose nitrate storage of all cellulose nitrate films. You frequently in warm climates. Any nitrate returned to the storage vault. Any films that have progressed to the third stage of inside the film storage container. These decompose the gases that are generated during the storage of cellulose nitrate films and retard the degradation reactions. Molecular Sieves are available from FPC, 6700 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90038,(800) 621-3456 or FAX (800) 648-9805.
Safe Handling, Storage, and Destruction of Nitrate-Based Motion Picture Films • H-182 (ENG) REPAIR AND DUPLICATION
packaging must meet the packing group III (three) performance standards. For Cellulose nitrate films that are shipped air transport (domestic or international) duplication, or repair must meet special provide these services are listed for your hazardous materials ( dangerous goods) transporting cellulose nitrate films. PRC (U.S.): films, nitrocellulose base, 4.1, offers a container that is an acceptable inner packaging for nitrocellulose-based so that each reel of film is packed in a transportation of passengers can be used for the transportation of cellulose nitrate Outer Packaging
Film Technology Company, Inc.
726 North Cole Ave.
* Outer fiberboard or solid plastic boxes and fiber drums must be limited to a single reel of not over 600 meters (1,969 feet) of film.
Safe Handling, Storage, and Destruction of Nitrate-Based Motion Picture Films • H-182 (ENG) WASTE MANAGEMENT
designated for destruction or those that Cellulose nitrate films that have reached marked for destruction need to be stored the third stage of decomposition, or have no historical value, need to be destroyed rapidly under certain conditions and are nitrate films that are in one of the last specifications, and cover the films with flammable, it is important that you store and transport these materials safely.
percent by weight of the total weight of WASTE CLASSIFICATION
per gallon.) Be sure to take into account the weight of any film reels.
nitrate film needs to be destroyed, it is facility. Long-term storage may require a hazardous waste, you should send it to an identified as a hazardous waste using all proper destruction as soon as possible.
EPA Waste Code
A material is defined as an ignitable hazardous waste if it
is an oxidizer as defined under USDOT regulations. Nitrate
containing materials are specifically defined as oxidizers
under those provisions.
A material is defined as a reactive hazardous waste if it is
capable of detonation or explosive reaction when subjected
to a strong initiating source or heated under confinement.
Cellulose nitrate films meet this criteria; they will spontane-
ously ignite under elevated temperatures. The rate of
combustion of nitrate films is about fifteen times that of
wood, and the resulting intense fire is virtually impossible to
control or easily extinguish.
A material is defined as a hazardous waste possessing the
characteristic of leachable toxicity for silver if, when
exposed to the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure
(TCLP), the material leaches > 5 mg/l (ppm) of silver.
Typically photographic films do not leach > 5 mg/l of silver
when subjected to the TCLP. However, during decomposi-
tion, it is likely that more silver may be present during
leaching once the film has reached the third stage of
decomposition. The TCLP can also be performed on a
representative sample of a film to define its characteristics.
Safe Handling, Storage, and Destruction of Nitrate-Based Motion Picture Films • H-182 (ENG) HAZARDOUS WASTE
films with not less than 25-percent water manage these types of waste. The following companies provide trans- portation and waste treatment. This list Packaging
nitrate-based films are considered hazardous materials under USDOT and must be transported by a carrier that is DESTRUCTION
Shipping Name
need to ship it to a treatment facility as soon as possible, following the Identification
transportation requirements outlined above. Hazard Class
Hazard Label
for cellulose nitrate film is incineration. The incinerating facility is required to shipping those films that are in one of the last Hazardous Waste Numbers associated with your waste. This includes D001, D003, and possibly D011, depending on the decomposition stage of the film.
Safe Handling, Storage, and Destruction of Nitrate-Based Motion Picture Films • H-182 (ENG) REFFERENCES
of Cellulose Nitrate Photographic Negatives,” December, 1994, de Imaging Science and Technology, vol. 38, 249-261, May/June 1994.
Worldwide Molecular Sieve Trade Test Results,” Paper presented at and Riley, P.N.K., “Mechanism of Deterioration in Cellulose Nitrate Base Archival Cinematographic Film,” European Polymer Journal, (1990).
(1992): The Book of Film Care, Chapter 3, “Storage and Handling of Processed Nitrate Film,” pages 30-35.
Safe Handling, Storage, and Destruction of Nitrate-Based Motion Picture Films • H-182 (ENG) MORE INFORMATION
J-110 Formaldehyde Use in Photographic J-111 Determining Workplace Exposure to J-113 About the OSHA Formaldehyde Standard J-311 Hazard Communication for Photographic J-312 Personal Protective Equipment Requirements in Photographic Processing J-314 Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation in Photographic Processing Facilities J-315 Special Materials Management in Photo- J-316 Emergency Preparedness for Photographic J-317 Injury and Illness Management for Photographic Processing Facilities If you have questions about Kodak products, call Kodak.
This publication is a guide to the Federal Health and Safety Regulations that apply to a typical photographic processing facility. Local or state requirements may also apply. Verify the specific requirements for your facility 1-800-465-6325, Monday–Friday8 a.m.–5 p.m. (Eastern time) representative, or your usual supplier of Kodak products.
This publication is printed on recycled paper that contains
50 percent recycled fiber and 10 percent post-consumer material.
Safe Handling, Storage, and Destruction of Nitrate-Based Motion Picture FilmsKODAK Publication No. H-182 (ENG) CAT No. 801 2049
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