In the print studio with Candace Nicol, I am learning about an acid alternative etching process. Rather than Nitric or Hydrochloric acid, we are working with salts. The salt, ferric chloride, has none of the disadvantages associated with the other two acid etching solutions: it does not produce dangerous fumes, is odourless and, though corrosive, is not absorbed through the skin.
It does take ages to bite though. You can put the plate in, nip to the coffee shop, take in a sandwich, venti latte, chat, check mail, walk back to the plate and still consider if the bite is deep enough.
That could be a plus on the social front though.