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Author: Subject: The Sciencemadness Starter Kit
Texium

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Quote: Originally posted by Loptr
 Quote: Originally posted by Praxichys there are probably 150 chemicals every beginner should have that are easily shippable without regulation, and I would be happy to provide those at-cost should anyone be interested in a bulk purchase.

You say that there are around 150 chemicals that are common across the board for beginners. It might be beneficial to get those listed and in consensus, and then make a spot for them on SynthSource. A lot of people just don't know where to begin, or what synthesis to do, and we always ask the question "what do you have?". Well, if they have the "SM Starter Kit", then we know what they have on hand and are capable of!

 Quote: Originally posted by zts16 I talked to Amos a while back actually about making an SM starter kit, and we compiled a list of stuff that would be good to put in it: Copper sulfate pentahydrate - 75g Basic copper carbonate - 15g Nickel sulfate hexahydrate - 15g Ferrous sulfate heptahydrate - 15g Iron(III) oxide - 15g Manganese dioxide - 35g Potassium dichromate - 25g Sodium metabisulfite - 35g Sodium hydroxide - 50g Potassium iodide - 10g Potassium nitrate - 50g Oxalic acid dihydrate - 35g Phthalic anhydride - 25g Iodine crystals - 3g Phenol crystals - 3g Methanol, technical grade - 100mL Ethanol, 95% - 100mL n-Propanol - 25mL n-Butanol - 25mL Benzyl alcohol - 25mL Urea - 50g Silver nitrate - 2g Zinc sulfate monohydrate - 25g Manganese sulfate monohydrate - 25g Glacial acetic acid - 50mL Lithium carbonate - 10g Calcium carbonate - 25g Sodium dichloroisocyanurate - 15g Sodium bromide - 25g Potassium permanganate - 15g Ascorbic acid - 25g Vanadium pentoxide - 2g Sulfuric acid, 93% tech grade (if requested, for extra charge) - 25 mL Nitric acid, ~70% (if requested, for extra charge) - 25 mL Ammonia, 10% (if requested, for extra charge) 3 test tubes with caps 150 mL beaker 250 mL beaker Obviously, people who buy it would have to work small scale until they decide to buy larger quantities of reagents that they want to work with more, but it could be very good as an introduction. A lot of thought was put into making it as affordable as possible while packing in as many useful reagents as we could.

 Quote: Originally posted by Praxichys I like the idea of that list. I have almost 1000 small (120mL) polyethylene containers on hand that I use on a regular basis for chemical distribution. I can definitely put together such a kit from things I currently own, and we might be able to raffle it off to promote SynthSource or something. I'd be fine offering up the basics on SynthSource on a permanent basis. It would be easy to just make a list at a price point. Offer $2 worth of everything, and shipping is$12 up to 12 items, $18 up to 24 items,$24 up to 36 items, etc. You could pick a custom packing list, or choose one of the starter kits. I could also introduce $4 items which would be like 3x the weight of the$2 item. You could get that entire list for the price of a decent video game, plus shipping.

 Quote: Originally posted by zts16 Yeah, that sounds really good. I was also thinking that there could be different kits, like an inorganic one, an organic one, and a complete one (which would basically be the full list in my last post). The amounts could of course be adjusted depending on what's available. A very economical way of packing dry chemicals for these kits would be to use small plastic reclosable bags. The Container Store sells a lot of different size ones that are made of much more durable plastic than normal ziploc bags. The smallest size that they have (you know, "drug dealer bags") are only $0.89 per package of ten (and they come stored inside of a larger bag, so really you get 11 bags per pack!). The bags are far cheaper than any other container available, and also more compact for shipping. Another idea that Amos and I had, which I think would work especially well with these kits, was to write a little book of reactions for beginners to try. It would be very helpful to beginners to be able to buy a set of chemicals that go along with a book chock full of real chemistry experiments to try that utilize everything in the kit.  Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1 This is sounding like the beginnings of a great project. I would have been in boots and all if it was available two years ago when I started. However, I now have an average of 500g of most things on that list. (Missing GAA, vanadium pentoxide, ascorbic acid, phenol and benzyl alcohol.) With the addition of a booklet of experiments (or, realistically a pdf) and a small amount of glassware, we would have a modern chemistry set reminiscent of days of old. That would be pretty cool. This might be worth its own thread to thrash out some details, refine the list and write up some experiments. And here is the new thread! Since it was intertwined with the other thread, rather than actually splitting it, I copied over all of the posts that pertain to the starter kit idea and placed them here. Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki They're not really active right now, but here's my YouTube channel and my blog. j_sum1 Administrator Posts: 5846 Registered: 4-10-2014 Location: Unmoved Member Is Offline Mood: Possessor of a tidy and organised lab. Now to mess it up again. Ok. Brilliant. No time to discuss specifics at the moment, but to get the ball rolling I offer woelen's starter list. I love the way that he has categorised chemicals according to their uses. http://woelen.homescience.net/science/chem/misc/chemicals.ht... Also, here is a starter list from a maker website. (I admit to not having read it for quite some time. I do know that it focuses on OTC sources and so might be outside the scope of a starter kit.) http://makezine.com/setting-up-a-home-science-lab3/ I'll add also strontiumred's list of experiments on the transition metals which I think provide a great list of easily accessible small-scale inorganic experiments. http://www.explorechem.com/home.html And I note that sodium thiosulfate was not on the list above. (Unless I missed it.) Sulaiman International Hazard Posts: 3272 Registered: 8-2-2015 Location: UK ... on extended Holiday in Malaysia Member Is Offline Economically it would be easiest to 'sponsor' an existing supplier to supply the kit, (supply and delivery chains etc.) but I like the idea of multiple independant hobby supply sources. For sure some items on the list are not allowed in EU and some not in US, so it would be complicated. Good luck... Texium Administrator Posts: 3955 Registered: 11-1-2014 Location: Salt Lake City Member Is Offline Mood: Triturated  Quote: Originally posted by Sulaiman Economically it would be easiest to 'sponsor' an existing supplier to supply the kit Perhaps so, but that would likely make the kit more expensive for the buyer than it would be if it was put together by Sciencemadness members. Take the Elemental Scientific "Advanced Chemical Set" for example. It contains fewer chemicals than the set that we propose, but costs$160. I'm sure that we could provide a better kit for less than $100 especially if we're able to save on packaging by packing many chemicals in plastic bags and using technical grade chemicals when acceptable and available. And I don't know about Doug (since he'll probably be the one putting these together), but if I was putting these kits together I would be selling them to break even, if not at cost, and not trying to profit from them. In all likelihood only a dozen or so will probably be sold. Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki They're not really active right now, but here's my YouTube channel and my blog. macckone International Hazard Posts: 2145 Registered: 1-3-2013 Location: Over a mile high Member Is Offline Mood: Electrical The kit that elemental scientific provides is for a specific book. A very good book I might add. Texium Administrator Posts: 3955 Registered: 11-1-2014 Location: Salt Lake City Member Is Offline Mood: Triturated  Quote: Originally posted by macckone The kit that elemental scientific provides is for a specific book. A very good book I might add. Indeed it is. I was given a copy of that book for Christmas of 2013 when I was just getting into amateur chemistry, and it was a great introduction to the hobby. Now I'm letting a friend of mine borrow it who is looking to get started. However, I will say that while it is a very good book and is perfect to use for learning general lab etiquette and technique, it is not written in the same resourceful and DIY spirit that this board is known for. You don't get procedures for preparation of chloroform, or distillation of nitric acid in there, for instance, even though many of us consider them to be among the most useful procedures that can be used to actually save money on reagents. Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki They're not really active right now, but here's my YouTube channel and my blog. chemplayer... Hazard to Others Posts: 191 Registered: 25-4-2016 Location: Away from the secret island Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood Just to chip in, we had an idea a few months ago of setting up an online reagent shop. We did a bit of research and costed it up but in the end there was no easy way of facilitating international payments (short of Paypal / Bitcoin which either we / no one else respectively wants to use). We also found a third party company which would act as an agent for us, but they in turn contacted their payment gateway supplers and they all apparently said that they refuse to handle payments for anything 'science' or 'medical' like. We based the list on what reagents we had found more difficult to get hold of and hence would be of interest especially to amateur experimenters, and the intent was packs of 50g-100g depending on the product, bulk, etc. We did create an initial product catalogue though which contained all the relevant label information and safety details (especially for international shipping), and we also did some tests to see if the products would be stable inside double sealed plastic bags (the sealable 'jewel' bags you get), especially for highly hydroscopic items. We limited the list to solid products (below 50C) only. Here's some findings: - Phosphorus pentoxide, iron (III) chloride, zinc chloride, and ammonium thiocyanate all failed a test where they were stored in a carefully sealed plastic jewel bag and this stored inside another carefully sealed plastic bag for a 1 month period. The contents absorbed enough water to turn slightly 'squishy' in both cases. So we removed them from our 'viable' products list, at least using the cheap plastic double bag packing. - Potassium dichromate is restricted and also 'packing group I' according to the UN regulations. However there's a workaround; ship potassium chromate instead (packing group II and not restricted). It's a nice little experiment in its own right to prepare the former from the latter. - Lots of compounds are technically only 'dangerous goods' if below a certain weight (normally quite a large amount compared to 'reagent size' packs), which means that for international shipping no dangerous goods documentation or labelling / packaging is needed (MSDS still needed). - Potassium permanganate seems to be listed as restricted in many places, but in practice everyone online sells it and we've found it OTC in many places so we included it on the list anyway. - No matter how well you pack vanillin, the aroma permeates through everything after about a week! - There was an outstanding problem which was how to identify and manage 'compatible' products for shipment. We came up with a way of identifying each product into a general 'compatibility' group where certain groups couldn't be shipped with each other. However we hadn't tested that the logic worked 100%. For instance it would be unwise to ship aluminium powder and potassium permanganate together. Or sodium nitrite and hydroxylamine hydrochloride or an ammonium salt for instance. Attached is a csv file containing the product list along with the codes, details etc. but with our original commercials, price, cost, and some other information excluded. May be of use if someone else is planning something similar. Attachment: product list.csv (7kB) This file has been downloaded 635 times Watch some vintage ChemPlayer: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/chemplayer/ j_sum1 Administrator Posts: 5846 Registered: 4-10-2014 Location: Unmoved Member Is Offline Mood: Possessor of a tidy and organised lab. Now to mess it up again. Hmmmm. I guess a lot comes down to who is putting together the kits, what kind of chems they have access to, what jurisdiction they are in, what the associated costs are, how much time they want to invest and what sort of profit they wish to make. All big variables. Suddenly a simple idea seems to be more complex than it initially seemed. I think I might do a trial run in Oz. First step will be to put together a list of experiments. Then buy a bunch of small containers. Then load them up with an assortment of chemicals and label them. Package it up and throw it up on eBay to see what happens. I see benefit in using containers rather than plastic bags -- that is what the buyer will want and it is probably worth the little bit of extra expense. There are a lot of chemicals that I have more than I need of. The sticky point will be the small handful of essentials that I do not have much of -- potassium dichromate for example. As if I don't have enough projects at present. It will still be at least another six weeks before I get a functioning lab space. Anyway, I'll watch this thread and hopefully some good basic experiment ideas will come forward as well as a consensus of what such a pack should contain. Dr.Bob International Hazard Posts: 2474 Registered: 26-1-2011 Location: USA - NC Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood The challenge is that if you buy 150 chemicals, containers, etc, you will sink a lot of cash into it, and if only a few people buy, you are left with 150 partial bottles of chemicals that you might or might not be able to use or sell. They way I got into selling lab stuff was to get it dropped into my lap, basically, and I just sell it on commission, basically. But if I was buying stuff to resell, the amount of money I would have to invest in it, would force me to have to charge more to cover those costs. Plus I still have many things that people say they want, but rarely purchase. I hear people asking for vials, ampules, beakers, and bottles, but once people buy a few, the need drops, and some I have not sold in a while. So it is not a trivial amount of work to sell things, and while Ebay (or Amazon in rare cases) can sell things faster than here, the fees are closer to 20% of the sale, once you add them all up, so you have to go up quite a bit on pricing. If anyone in the US wants to try this, I have some nice vials, containers, ampules, and bottles to ship small amounts in, by the way... I am happy to make a good deal. j_sum1 Administrator Posts: 5846 Registered: 4-10-2014 Location: Unmoved Member Is Offline Mood: Possessor of a tidy and organised lab. Now to mess it up again. Point noted Dr Bob. But I don't think I will be that ambitious on this one. I think if I buy a set of 20 or 30 small plastic screw-top vials, that will be enough to put together a decent set and need not cost a whole lot. Then I fill with the surplus of chems that I currently stock. If there are some that I do not have enough of, (and I mentioned K2Cr2O7) then I take the opportunity to restock my lab. I price it to cover cost of jars, a token amount for the chemicals (many of which I got free anyway), eBay costs and postage plus a little extra for my time. I put it up online and see what happens. The motivation is, "welcome to the fun of chemistry" and not "I want to make scuds of money". Once I sell one, I then think about another -- or not as the case may be. Texium Administrator Posts: 3955 Registered: 11-1-2014 Location: Salt Lake City Member Is Offline Mood: Triturated Personally, with regards to plastic bags versus bottles, when I was starting out and had very little money to spend on chemistry (and wasn't sure yet how much I actually wanted to spend on it), a less expensive kit that used plastic bags would have been more appealing to me. With the amounts of chemicals being offered, the bottles are probably going to cost a lot more than the chemicals in them for the most part. Perhaps both options could be offered, and we could see which one is more well-received. Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki They're not really active right now, but here's my YouTube channel and my blog. Loptr International Hazard Posts: 1316 Registered: 20-5-2014 Location: USA Member Is Offline Mood: Grateful Anybody have access to loads of free camera film canisters? I remember they used to be free from camera stores. tomholm Owner of BME Lab and Science and Elemental Scientific Posts: 158 Registered: 24-2-2014 Location: United States Member Is Offline Mood: Good I do like the idea of developing an old-style chemistry set to promote chemistry to new chemists, but I must also add a few words of caution because there are a lot of regulations to consider and the possibility of a lot of liability. Some of the following concerns have been made in previous posts, but I think there are some new ones, as well. I also understand that many people do not adhere to all of these regulations, but you should know that there is the possibility of a$50,000 penalty for each package not in compliance or additional liability for any property damage or personal injury that may result from a non-conforming shipment.

1. Some chemicals on the list must be shipped hazardous or in poison packs regardless of the amount (no exceptions). Nitric acid and phenol, for example. I have not looked closely enough at the list to determine how many are subject to more restrictive requirements.

2. While many chemicals do fall under a limited quantity exemption, a shipper is not able to use this unless they have completed classes on shipping hazardous materials. In short, you need to be trained in order to know whether exemptions apply.

3. UPS and FedEx do not allow chemical shipments to be dropped off at their store locations. They require those shipments to be picked up by one of their drivers and require those who want to ship chemicals, hazardous or limited quantity exemptions, to maintain a hazardous shipping account that carries a weekly minimum charge.

4. Hazardous shipments require the shipper to provide an Emergency Response Telephone number that is manned 24 X 7. Obviously, there is a cost associated with providing this service.

5. All chemicals shipped must be properly labeled.

6. All chemicals cannot be shipped together. Chemical shipments must be separated based on hazard class.

7. I don’t believe that plastic bags satisfy inner packaging requirements for most chemicals; especially, if they are being shipped together.

8. The plan is to “sell” potentially harmful chemicals to “inexperienced, beginning” chemists. What can go wrong, right? Selling is different than giving away when it comes to being potentially liable for any damages. I would not be involved without adequate business insurance.

9. All payment systems take their cut.

10. I don’t think the economics of shipping small quantities as discussed work. The packaging costs and the labor required are being underestimated. I understand you may not be looking to make a lot of money (I can speak from experience that you will not), but I think this falls under losing money while taking on potentially very large liability.

Since this concept does fall under my line of business and I’ve thought about providing chemistry sets in the past, I would be interested in looking into this further to see if we could put together a series of products that would meet the overall goal of providing useful chemistry sets and documented processes to help beginning chemists. But, I admit, I would only do so if I thought it offered the chance of providing a reasonable amount of profit and demand.

j_sum1

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All worthy considerations. Thanks Tom.

Praxichys' original idea was for chems that are easily able to be shipped without regulatory restrictions. It is a constraint but if you are supplying beginners, that might be a good thing. It avoids the expense of hazmat and the associated costs. It also sidesteps a lot of liability questions.

Regulations (and penalties) you cite I presume are for the US. I would need to look up the equivalent in Oz if I was to do something.

Economics -- I would want to cover costs excluding my time. Like so much in this hobby it is a labour of love. In what I envisage, the chems would mostly come from what I have surplus. After containers, shipping and eBay fees were covered, if I had enough surplus cash to buy one chem for myself, say, a bottle of of ammonium thiocyanate, I would be happy. Let's see how this might go.

30 30mL bottles @ 30c each -- $9.00 Some test tubes and a couple of beakers -- say,$12
pdf of experiments -- a one-off investment of time. Maybe it could be printed out.
Profit -- representative amount to cover chems and provide me with something I want -- $20 Labelling -- Print out a roll of stickers. Again mostly time. Packaging -- We have just shifted house. I have bubble-wrap to spare. Shipping Aus-wide -- I think it could be done for$15 easily. Probably under 10.
EBay and PayPal fees -- allow 20%

So that comes in at around $66. Not chump change but not exorbitant either. It could come down quite a bit if I left off glassware. This is not outside the realms of possibility. The Volatile Chemist International Hazard Posts: 1973 Registered: 22-3-2014 Location: 'Stil' in the lab... Member Is Offline Mood: Copious Insightful comments Tom. And I like ChemPlayer's list. In the past I'd thought about something similar, and was still kind-of thinking of doing such in college. Now I don't know, it looks like chemical sales aren't a very profitable business. J_sum's plan, however, may work well. I think as long as the end goal isn't making money, you could come out alright. However, I don't see too much motivation left besides getting a reagent or two. Perhaps a theme to the collection, or a plan would help. I just shipped a package of music sheets to a girl in PA today via USPS. Terrible shipping cost for under a pound. And they ask a good bit of questions too, as to what's in the package. Just some quick thoughts. j_sum1 Administrator Posts: 5846 Registered: 4-10-2014 Location: Unmoved Member Is Offline Mood: Possessor of a tidy and organised lab. Now to mess it up again. I am still planning on doing this. But I need to pour a concrete slab and build my lab first. then I have somewhere to unpack my stuff. I think it could be a good way to encourage newbies into the craft. Cabalaba Hazard to Self Posts: 55 Registered: 10-6-2016 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood All of the hazardous material issues could be avoided by selling "mailable limited quantities" or worst case "ORM-D." We could avoid the whole Hazmat training for UPS and Fedex, using USPS (which is cheaper). This would be the best way to start. As a business starts, for the first and even 2nd year, all profit should be [put in the LLC's bank account] and immediately spent to reinvest on other chemicals, glove boxes able to be flushed with inert gases for anhydrous chems. A business front could be avoided if the chems were spread out among members. Essentially, a business like this shouldn't make profit until their's enough to be made and a reason to hire people. We do this as a labor of love, so at least at first, it wouldn't be an issue for me. However, this is not true for those wanting profit immediately. This would only work if we looked 5-10 years ahead. The major problem will be dealing with all of our egos. Again, tell me if Im wrong, idealistic, or confused about something. or just ignore me. I have a lot ideas, most dont work, but I grew up in the Bronx, poor as shit, so I realized young that you always fail if you dont try. Now Im living in an Ivory tower and continuing to take risks and unafraid to fail. But I like out discourse so please hammer me if Im out of line or you just dont trust me. Fleaker International Hazard Posts: 1244 Registered: 19-6-2005 Member Is Offline Mood: nucleophilic What's wrong with setting it up as a nonprofit, starting a gofundme or whatever called "Worthwhile chemistry kit resurrection", hit the DOT training courses (I did them), buy some proper packaging materials and containers and go from there? I'm no attorney so I don't know how nonprofits and liability work, but I can't see this being done for a profit purpose. If it were up to me, the ACS would fund it I know the Devil's in the details, but this can likely be done the right way for not too much money. Neither flask nor beaker. "Kid, you don't even know just what you don't know. " --The Dark Lord Sauron Texium Administrator Posts: 3955 Registered: 11-1-2014 Location: Salt Lake City Member Is Offline Mood: Triturated I agree with Fleaker. It's best to do this sort of thing totally above board. Upthread I mentioned using plastic bags, and that might still work for a few reagents, but it is probably best to use real bottles and jars for most things and to make sure to follow all of the guidelines. My only concern is that once all of the packaging costs and shipping fees are piled on it might make it too expensive to be appealing for the customer. I guess that's where the kickstarter/gofundme comes in though. Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki They're not really active right now, but here's my YouTube channel and my blog. Dr.Bob International Hazard Posts: 2474 Registered: 26-1-2011 Location: USA - NC Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood  Quote: Originally posted by Cabalaba All of the hazardous material issues could be avoided by selling "mailable limited quantities" or worst case "ORM-D." We could avoid the whole Hazmat training for UPS and Fedex, using USPS (which is cheaper). This would be the best way to start.wouldn't be an issue for me. I ship both hazardous and non-hazardous items often, and the USPS is NOT the way to go, they are far more restrictive than either UPS or FedEx, and if you ship anything not allowed, it is a Federal offense. I'll take my chances with FedUPS anyway compared to the federal court system. The USPS does not handle almost any chemical legally. I am all in favor of trying to do something to help chemistry, but as Tom Holm mentioned, it is not trivial or cheap to buy, package, store and ship chemicals. I would rather support a person like him in his existing business, that to try to compete with him, making it harder on both parties. I thin kas a first start, it would be worthwhile to create a small list of useful and practical to ship chemicals, which could be sold as a small kit. Perhaps maybe have a few kits available, one for basics, one for organics, one for inorganic work, and one or two others. Keys are to decide on an affordable packing system, maybe scintillation vials or some other low cost packaging, what chemicals might be practical to include, and some experiments that can be done with them. Color changes, dyes, polymers, and crystal growing salts are some ideas I would have. I'm not against someone here doing this, but it will take a large amount of time and money, and Tom has a lot of both already invested, so I would like to encourage him if possible. tomholm Owner of BME Lab and Science and Elemental Scientific Posts: 158 Registered: 24-2-2014 Location: United States Member Is Offline Mood: Good  Quote: Originally posted by Cabalaba All of the hazardous material issues could be avoided by selling "mailable limited quantities" or worst case "ORM-D." We could avoid the whole Hazmat training for UPS and Fedex, using USPS (which is cheaper). This would be the best way to start.wouldn't be an issue for me. I realize this is not a timely response, but I thought I'd post it anyway to clarify some misconceptions around shipping chemicals ORM-D. Shipping a hazardous chemical in small quantities that qualify for the ORM-D exception, does not make that chemical a non-hazardous chemical. It only changes the packaging and labeling requirements. It is still considered hazardous and still requires training and account authorizations from FedEx and UPS to ship using this exception. The idea is that you need to be trained in order to be able to safely use the exception. And, I agree with Dr. Bob that the USPS is even more restrictive than FedEx and UPS. The following texts are taken from a dangerous goods training site and I believe are accurate statements: So, is a "Consumer Commodity" considered "hazmat" or "dangerous goods"? Yes. Absolutely. As a hazardous materials shipper, you are required to train your employees involved in shipping Consumer Commodity shipments by Ground every 3 years, by Air or Ocean every 2 years. What happens if I don’t train my people to ship ORM-D or any hazmat? You can be fined up to$27,500 per violation, per day. A typical fine for a medium size company is around \$30,000 for an air violation.

JJay
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I've been told that some shippers get around the requirement to ship ORM-D by keeping quantities under 30 mL or 30 grams. I'm not sure what legal statute or doctrine this falls under, but it seems to be a common practice.

PeterC
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This sounds like a cool idea but realistically it would be very hard to pull off in the US due to legislation + HAZMAT. There is however another method of effectively and cheaply shipping strange things, the method itsself is the notorious drop-shipping industry of China. It's usually cheaper to send something like 30g of reagent or a beaker from Shenzhen to LA than it is from San Fransisco, and if you do all the paperwork right reagents should have no trouble getting through customs. Unfortunately this kind of plan has two flaws, most big drop-shippers want businesses that are receiving orders often, and the second issue is the perceived "shadiness" of receiving packages from some unpronounceable industrial complex in China.
Dr.Bob
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 Quote: Originally posted by JJay I've been told that some shippers get around the requirement to ship ORM-D by keeping quantities under 30 mL or 30 grams. I'm not sure what legal statute or doctrine this falls under, but it seems to be a common practice.

There are quantity limits for most chemicals. The idea is that for low hazard chemicals, you can ship under a certain amount without placarding the box. You still have to package the chemical in a bottle (the cap must be taped or locked shut) placed inside a bag or sealed box, the paperwork on the package must still be labelled with the contents and hazards, and the box must be labelled "Contents meet (some code number here) standard". For many liquids the amount is 30 ml or grams, for many solids it is higher. The USPS WILL NOT accept most of those packages legally, and shipping them without the right paperwork, training and labeling will get you arrested and jailed.

So there are ways to ship chemicals legally and safely, but it is not easy nor is it cheap. I used to take the classes every 2 years, and packages a lot of chemicals for internal shipment within my company, but even then we always had a risk of being fined or worse, yet, if something leaked, there was a huge investigation. Fortunately, the only leak cases I was involved in, I was the recipient of the leaking package, not the originator, and so I was not the one that people visited to harass and question.

For more details of small sample rules, see

www.jhsph.edu%2Fresearch%2Fcenters-and-institutes%2Fjohns-ho...

[Edited on 15-12-2016 by Dr.Bob]
JJay
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Quote: Originally posted by Dr.Bob
 Quote: Originally posted by JJay I've been told that some shippers get around the requirement to ship ORM-D by keeping quantities under 30 mL or 30 grams. I'm not sure what legal statute or doctrine this falls under, but it seems to be a common practice.

There are quantity limits for most chemicals. The idea is that for low hazard chemicals, you can ship under a certain amount without placarding the box. You still have to package the chemical in a bottle (the cap must be taped or locked shut) placed inside a bag or sealed box, the paperwork on the package must still be labelled with the contents and hazards, and the box must be labelled "Contents meet (some code number here) standard". For many liquids the amount is 35 ml or grams, for many solids it is higher. The USPS WILL NOT accept most of those packages legally, and shipping them without the right paperwork, training and labeling will get you arrested and jailed.

So there are ways to ship chemicals legally and safely, but it is not easy nor is it cheap. I used to take the classes every 2 years, and packages a lot of chemicals for internal shipment within my company, but even then we always had a risk of being fined or worse, yet, if something leaked, there was a huge investigation. Fortunately, the only leak cases I was involved in, I was the recipient of the leaking package, not the originator, and so I was not the one that people visited to harass and question.

That sounds about right. Of course, "low hazard" means different things to different people... 30 mL of hexane might be considered dangerous by some people, even if carefully sealed in a shatterproof bottle.

I've never been involved in a leak case and hope to never be, but I will say that it is better if the package contains some kind of paperwork stating its contents. There are few things that compare to the excitement experienced when receiving an unmarked vial of white powder that you don't remember ordering without an OSHA 3492 label, manifest, or bill of lading.

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