Chemicals are always dangerous, especially when you’re handling them. They can react so quickly that they can cause serious problems in terms of physical damage to equipment as well as to people and their health. For that reason you need to treat them with care and respect, ensuring that you’ve done plenty of research into them before you purchase any for your next project.

Physicists and those studying chemistry spend a great deal of time in laboratories working with various chemicals and many have to order their own for projects as part of their courses at college or University which presents a series of questions that need to be asked before you hit the ‘buy now’ button on the website. Retailers like BRC Fine Chemicals have been selling products for research purposes for a number of years and have gained a reputation for being a trusted retailer.

You can find out if the site you’re buying from is trustworthy and likely to sell you the product you think you’re spending your hard-earned funds on by reading online reviews and forums. It might be the first time that you have researched a particular chemical but other people may have done similar projects and will have first-hand experience of working with specific brands and retailers. See what they have to say about the company in terms of customer service, the advice they may have given and the price to make sure that you get the best deal.

Buying Chemicals for Educational Purposes: What You Need to Know

If you’ve got any experience of shopping online, and in the modern era most people do, you’ll be aware that it makes great sense to shop around before you commit to buying. On a high street or walking around a shopping centre, you wouldn’t necessarily make your purchase from the first shop you walk into. You’d make a mental note of the store you were in, the size or quantity available and the price and then you’d find a similar shop and compare what they have to offer before you settle on what works out best for you in terms of what you’re looking for and your budget. The same theory should be in place when you shop online, only rather than having to leave one store to go to another, you can open a separate window in your browser to compare essentially side-by-side.

Also, a lot of online retailers offer their customers ‘online only’ deals that you can’t buy in store. In the case of research chemicals these offers might include larger quantities for less or three-for-the-price-of-two for example and when the money is coming out of your annual research budget every penny you can save can be put towards further research later in the year or investment in new equipment.

You also need to be sure that you’re fully aware of the composition of the chemicals you’re going to be researching. It might sound like common sense to check the ingredients and to wear protective clothing but many people get complacent. Checking the various components ahead of your purchase will help you to not only get a good idea of what you’re dealing with in advance, but it will also help you to save your money and invest it elsewhere if it turns out that you don’t have the facilities available that are capable of storing that particular chemical – it might be that it needs to be stored above or below a certain temperature for instance, or kept away from direct sunlight. Alternatively, it might just be a case that you’re allergic to something within the chemical – or the whole thing – and you should stay well away, even with your protective clothing and equipment. You should never take risks with your own health no matter how important the research might be.

This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular contributor to Huffington Post. Follow her here: @Amanda_W84