To me, about the only useful information would be the elemental composition of an inorganic or a structure depiction of an organic or organometallic compound. I can turn those into names, but those won’t be names that anyone could effectively look up for more info. Chemical reactivity info is in that structure for a person who can “read” it.
I’ve seen these sample collections often as research groups retire. I can only hope that people in the labs, when they are ready to give them up, will keep the collection together as information about the overall project is in the collective set. The trick always is getting the labpackers to understand what the chemical hazard may be and, of course, the assumption that these are somewhat toxic. What the labpackers should be concerned with is the high-end hazards like energetic, easily initiated self-reactivity. In milligram quantities that may be not so critical, but shipping is always the “any amount” of the DOT rules. They have to know what may be deemed “forbidden to ship” regardless of the amount. They may want to call in their specialist (big time money per minute), to make the call and hopefully knowledgably read the “hyrogliphs”.
Having a listing of names or structures corresponding to a researcher’s code, eg. initials, book number, page or something like that, and the books can be found, is an asset.
Dear DCHAS Listers,
We are interested in how various colleges and universities label synthesized chemical materials in small quantities in vials.
Some of our organic chemists have hundreds of samples in small vials labelled with structures only. Some samples may or may not be novel substances.
This becomes a problem when someone retires or leaves and our hazardous waste group is tasked with identifying hundreds of samples for disposal purposes.
What do you require?
Actual chemical names? Associated hazards? Can they be grouped and stored in similar chemical groups.
Any information is very much appreciated.
Christopher E. Kohler
Laboratory Safety Manager
University Environmental Health and Safety
1514 E Third Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
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