Your Guide to Buying Chemicals

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Your Guide to Buying Chemicals

If you are the purchasing agent for your medical lab, secondary school, or university medical or chemistry lab, you need to be aware of the ways to purchase chemicals as well as how to store them properly. Chemicals can range from the bleach for whitening clothing to reagents for forensic labs. Knowing how to select the grade and quantity of chemicals is an important health and safety requirement.


Laboratory Chemicals

Many companies regularly use chemicals in laboratory applications. Depending on their uses, you may find the chemicals listed by the technical name or a commonly used name. You may find hydrogen peroxide, for example, listed as H2O2, its chemical numerology. Chlorine bleach, household paint, and laundry detergent are examples of chemicals that are so common people no longer think of them as hazardous. You can find and purchase most commonly used laboratory chemicals and laboratory equipment from lab suppliers. However, to purchase certain chemicals used in labs that are controlled agents, you may need a special permit or need to buy them in person. Many chemicals are hazardous either alone or in combination with other agents and you should purchase and handle them with care. Keep only the amount needed for reasonable use over a limited time period to hand in order to protect the health and safety of lab workers.


Chemicals for Science Projects

When considering the purchase of chemicals for a science project, school science laboratory, or chemistry lab, you need to select the chemicals by grade. The grade indicates the purity of the chemical. Lower grades indicate that the manufacturer added greater quantity of additions to stabilise or dilute the chemical, or impurities in the chemical. The most common grading standards are reagent grade, laboratory grade, and technical grade. Reagent is the most pure and technical grade the least. For the purposes of most science fair projects, laboratory or technical grade chemicals are sufficiently pure. If a project requires reagent chemicals, the materials list for the project should specifically state that. Always consult the teacher or professor to ensure you select the correct grade. When replacing used chemicals for a chemistry kit always purchase the smallest quantity available.


Care and Storage of Chemicals

Chemicals are a big part of modern life and people use them in medical labs, hospitals, science labs, and in many businesses. From house paint to detergents and pesticides for the home garden, chemicals are a part of life. Proper storage of chemicals can reduce injuries and spills. Be sure to read the label of the chemical and create appropriate storage for the type of liquid or granules you have. Wear gloves and the appropriate mask when handling chemicals even if the bottle, jar, or pump is unopened. Keep all chemicals away from heat sources for safety and be sure to store all chemicals in their original containers.

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