Mordants and Safety (Note: all safety information was obtained from www.sigmaalderich.com)
- Alum (potassium aluminium sulfate) - do not breathe dust, avoid contact with skin and eyes. MSDS information says that it is an irritant.
- Chrome (potassium dichromate) - Dangerous for the environment, very toxic, oxidizing. Sigma recommends use of Eye-shields, Gloves and reusable respirators to protect yourself. Under health risks - may be fatal if inhaled. (Note: many items dealt with in the lab are toxic and dangerous to work with. I must admit that I do not read the potential harms for each chemical I use. But I have to say, the more I read about potassium dichromate, the less I would ever want to use it in my home!) This is not something that you can just toss down the drain or in your trashcan after use, but apparently you can re-use the mordant solution.
- copper (copper sulfate) - do not breathe dust, avoid contact with skin and eyes. MSDS information says that it is an irritant.
- Iron (ferrous sulfate) - Same as copper sulfate.
- tin (stannous chloride) - Corrosive, very harmful if inhaled, can cause irritation.
I am not an expert on dyeing. But the comments on this post are my opinions based on how I deal with lab equipment.