Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 18:46:32 -0700
Reply-To: DAVID KATZ <dakatz45**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: DAVID KATZ <dakatz45**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: Chemical Lists
Comments: To: Russ Phifer

That "suggested chemical inventory" from Montana looks more like an 
inventory from some school which has been in existence for some time and 
was passed on as a list of needed chemicals.  Some items that caught my 
eye, among too many to list, were "immersion oil (very old)", 
"trinitrotoluene", "arsenic compounds", "sodium cyanide", etc. I would 
not allow many of the chemicals listed in my college laboratory.

I can only echo Russ Phifer's words.  You do not want to equip your 
laboratory with suggested chemicals from a list.  Develop a series of 
safe, responsible experiments that illustrate chemical principles and 
teach necessary techniques and do not generate large quantities of 
hazardous waste.  Order only the chemicals you need for those 
experiments and maintain as little inventory as possible. There are 
companies, such as Flinn Scientific that sell chemicals in small 
quantities at reasonable prices so you don't have to try to save money 
by buying kilogram quantities. If you have no need for a chemical, then 
it should not be in your inventory.   

If you are inclined, as I am, to perform many chemical demonstrations in 
your classes, then follow the same, if not stricter, safety guidelines.  
Fire, smoke, and explosions have no place in your demonstration 
repertoire unless you have millions of dollars of liability insurance. 

David Katz

  David A. Katz              
  Chemist, Educator, Expert Demonstrator, Science Communicator, and 
  Programs and workshops for teachers, schools, museums, and the public
  133 N. Desert Stream Dr. * Tucson, AZ 85745-2277 *  USA
  voice/fax: (520) 624-2207 * email: 
           Visit my web site:
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Russ Phifer 
  To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU 
  Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 11:18 AM
  Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Lists

  It would be nice if there were such a list that everyone could agree 
on, but
  there certainly isn't one I can find.  I know Montana has a "suggested
  chemical inventory" (see,
  but I personally see no need for high schools to have benzene, 1,1,1 
  2,3,7,8 TCDD (what high school lab needs dioxin on their shelves??),
  caffeine, di-isopropyl ether (big peroxide former), gunpowder, 
  peroxide 30%, nitroglycerin, and about 30-40 other chemicals on their 
  My recommendation is to look at each experiment from a "green" 
  to determine the hazards of the starting chemicals andif 1) less 
  chemicals can be used, 2) the experiment byproducts will be regulated 
as a
  hazardous waste, and 3) if the purpose of the experiment is worth the 
  posed by #1 and #2.  If a chemical isn't actively being used for 
  experiments then it shouldn't be there.  Some of the chemicals on the
  Montana "suggested chemical inventory list", for example, are clearly
  dangerous and pose a substantial liability risk to the school.

  You might want to check out the EPA Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign
  website -
  - it has links to a number of state programs on chemicals in schools.

  Russ Phifer
  WC Environmental, LLC
  PO Box 1718, 1085C Andrew Drive
  West Chester, PA  19380
  610-696-9220x12/ fax 610-344-7519

  -----Original Message-----
  From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf 
  McCartney, Alan
  Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 10:00 AM
  To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
  Subject: Chemical Lists

  Is there a "good" or "recommended list of chemicals for use in a high 
  chemistry lab, or alternatively, is there a "Not Recommended" list (or 
a do
  not use list)?  

  Are there any general industry standards regarding suitability of 
  for high school chemistry labs.


  Alan P. McCartney

  Alan P. McCartney, CSP, CHCM, EMT-P
  Senior Technical Specialist - Property

  Loss Prevention - Liberty Mutual Agency Markets
  62 Maple Avenue
  Keene, New Hampshire 03431
  (603) 358-4560
  (603) 357-9595 (fax)

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