Electroforming Health and Safety Considerations
Do you want to get started electroforming, but are worried about all of the chemicals and possible interactions? Let us calm your nerves with tehse electroforming health and safety considerations so you can be sure this is safe for you, your space, and others who inhabit it.
Let’s start with some basics from the safety data sheet of Midas Bright Copper Electroforming Solution. This is my favorite pre-mixed solution and the only one I can honestly recommend (side-eyeing you Krohn…), but all solutions will have basically the same health and safety data as they are made with similar ingredients.
The warnings listed are: corrosive to metals, harmful if swallowed, causes skin irritation, causes serious eye damage.
These may seem like scary warnings, but really it is just meant to show you that these chemicals must be handled and disposed of carefully. Also I wouldn’t recommend having this in an area with heavy foot traffic, in your living area, or around children/animals.
Electroforming Safety Considerations
- Keep your bath inside of another container that can be closed and kept away from pets and small children. This also helps prevent contamination and evaporation.
- Have a container of distilled water near your bath for rinsing (helps to prevent acidic drips) and baking soda to neutralize.
- Always use type 2 (HDPE) or type 5 (PP) plastic as it is safe for acid. Look for the little triangle with a number inside.
- Never add acid to water, only water to acid. This is really important if you mix your own electroforming solution. Otherwise, you will only ever be adding water to acid by topping up your bath due to evaporation.
Electroforming Health Considerations
- Always wear a respirator when mixing a new bath. If you can smell it, you’re breathing it in. Make sure to regularly switch out the filters.
- Did you know certain stones can produce toxic fumes if not sealed correctly? Fluorite and bumblebee jasper are two stones that are dangerous to have unsealed in your bath. DO NOT attempt these stones unless you have experience with sealing (it doesn’t always work out, better to be cautious) and have proper ventilation.
- A little splash of solution on your skin probably won’t cause any irritation if you rinse it off, but that doesn’t mean you want to go handling this stuff without gloves. I frequently take pieces in/out of the bath without gloves (do as I say, not as I do!), which definitely isn’t the best practice, but I would NEVER put my hand down into the solution without heavy duty gloves.
How to Dispose of Your Copper Electroforming Solution
Electroforming solution is toxic to water systems and therefore must be disposed of at a hazardous waste treatment facility.
Is Ventilation Necessary?
Ventilation is always necessary for gold and silver electroforming, but copper electroforming is a little more forgiving provided you are not running a giant bath or have your setup in a living area. Having a window nearby or a fan to pull away fumes is sufficient for a beginner electroforming setup.