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Avoid Purchasing Unnecessary Quantities of Chemicals

One school accumulated 20 five-pound bottles of mercury. Each year they ordered from the same list used the year before! Not a good idea.

by James A. Kaufman
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One school accumulated 20 five-pound bottles of mercury. Each year they ordered from the same list used the year before! Not a good idea. You need to know what you have and where it's located. Whether you decide to do it with sheets of paper, index cards, or  computers, you  need to have a chemical inventory. It's pretty hard to comply with OSHA and EPA regulations without one. It's pretty hard to know what to order without one.

If you decide to use a computer to keep your records, you can use any database software program you like. Or, you can buy a program from one of the several vendors which offer the software packages. Programs are available that run on either IBM or  Apple/Macintosh type systems. Look at the feature and see what meets your needs. How easily can additional chemicals be added to the database? Can the total list be sorted or indexed? How fast does it search? Can extra fields of information be added? How many?

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