Lab Manager | Run Your Lab Like a Business
Illustration of lab chemical bottles
Credit: Lab Manager

Purchasing Guide: Chemicals

Chemical usage is a necessary and sometimes challenging component of many laboratories

by Lab Manager
Register for free to listen to this article
Listen with Speechify

Chemical usage is a necessary and sometimes challenging component of many laboratories. Learning how to properly use and store the chemicals you need for routine work can be complex because different chemicals have different hazards and storage requirements, among other complicating factors. Purchasing chemicals from a trusted source is the first step, but knowing how to store materials when they arrive at your lab is vital to maximizing your experimental output and maintaining the safety of your employees. For a directory of chemical suppliers, visit

5 Questions to Ask When Handling and Storing Chemicals

  1. Is there space in designated storage locations for incoming chemicals that require them, such as flammable safety cabinets? 
  2. Is the safety data sheet up to date and have all members of the lab read it prior to working with these chemicals? 
  3. Are complete spillkits and instructions present near chemical storage and readily accessible in case of a spill?
  4. What PPE is required to work with these chemicals (e.g., gloves, goggles, etc)? Is the laboratory sufficiently stocked? 
  5. Does the laboratory have a system set up to manage chemical inventory and ensure expired chemicals are safely and responsibly disposed of?

Usage Tip

Using a safety checklist for your laboratory chemicals can reduce the risks associated with handling, storage, and disposal of chemicals by ensuring protocols are readily available and followed. Keeping chemicals up to date, ensuring their safe usage, and maintaining proper documentation will also help you stay safe in the lab and ensure accurate experimental results.

Get training in Chemical Hygiene and earn CEUs.One of over 25 IACET-accredited courses in the Academy.
Chemical Hygiene Course

Chemical Storage Webinar

Are you interested in learning more about safe storage and handling of chemicals in the laboratory? Learn about the role of OSHA Lab Standards, correct identification of potential chemical hazards, and how to navigate laboratory safety audits by watching this webinar: