Many industries use chemicals for research, including pharmaceuticals, nutrition, and cosmetics. Yet not all chemicals are safe to store and handle unless you follow the proper precautions.
Chemical hazards can cause burns or other injuries. Exposure to certain chemicals can even cause hearing loss.
Buying chemicals don't have to be so hazardous. Following the proper processes and handling chemicals correctly will keep you and your workers safe.
Keen to buy research chemicals safely? Read on to learn how.
Grade and Use
You don't only need to know how to buy chemicals, you also need to know what to buy. Ask what grade of chemical your work needs.
The grade shows you the purity of the chemical. Lower grades tell you there are impurities or water in the chemical.
Grades vary, but you'll often see—in order of purity from lowest to highest—technical, laboratory, and reagent. 'Technical' is sometimes also called 'Industrial'. The cost of the chemicals also increases with the grade.
Decide which purity you need, which dictates which grade you should buy.
Approved Suppliers to Buy Research Chemicals
Look at the chemicals you've used before in your business. Which brands did you buy? If they were safe and met your standards, look to buy them again.
Do you have policies for buying research chemicals already in place? If so, there may be an approved supplier you can use. You may already have a list of specific manufacturers.
Chemicals that also have household uses may be easily bought from a local store. These chemicals are unlikely to have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) with them. Therefore, it's often best to buy from a dedicated supplier.
If you're looking to buy the highest quality chemicals, have a look at this supplier.
Storage and Handling
Check what storage requirements your chosen chemicals have. Do you need fireproof cabinets or other specific solutions? Can you store the chemical safely? If so, then you can buy those chemicals.
How will you handle the chemicals? Check-in advance that you have the means to handle the chemical in a safe way. That might include using extraction boots or specialist PPE.
You also need to check how the chemicals will be delivered. It's important that the carrier handles them correctly too. This is another reason to buy chemicals from a licensed supplier.
Quick Tips for Purchasing Chemicals
Buying chemicals is one of the few times where it's not a good idea to buy in bulk. The larger the container, the harder it becomes to handle. This can lead to other risks when dispensing chemicals into manageable containers.
In an ideal world, you'll only buy the chemicals you need for an experiment. Some chemicals have a time-sensitive use, so you can't store them anyway.
Choose smaller containers that will be easier to store and handle. To avoid waste disposal costs of unused chemicals, buy the amount you need. Making more frequent orders is safer than one big order every now and then.
Stay Safe With Chemicals
Now you know how to buy research chemicals in a safe way. Start with what you need and only order as much as your work demands. Don't let them expire before you can use them.
Chemicals are safe to use if you store and handle them chemicals according to the directions. You'll be able to get the most out of them to support your work.
Looking for more tips and advice for your business? Check out our other business articles.