Chemicals in the classroom – a quick guide to safety and purity.

Chemicals in the classroom

Chemical substitution

Chemicals are a necessary part of a science curriculum, but the dangers they pose to students, staff, and the environment don’t need to be. One of the most effective ways to minimize risks is by using alternatives to hazardous chemicals – letting you provide the same learning opportunities in a safer classroom environment.

Click to download the chart below for recommended substitutions for common hazardous chemicals.

Chemical purity grades

Because chemical purity can affect cost, it’s important to know the purity differences in the chemicals available to you, so you can make your school’s limited budget go further. Think about the type of results you’re looking for in your chemistry activities, then choose the purity grade accordingly.

Lab-grade chemicals meet a minimum purity standard and are suitable for general laboratory applications and demonstrations that don’t require qualitative results. They’re good for elementary, middle school and high school activities that have a simple color or temperature change as an observed result.

Reagent-grade chemicals are certified to have impurities below specific levels set by the American Chemical Society. They work well for college-level courses and activities that require precise qualitative results. Reagent-grade chemicals have a higher purity than lab-grade chemicals and therefore can have a higher cost.

As always, if you have any questions about chemicals or anything else, just ask the Ward’s Science Plus Us team at sciencehelp@vwr.com. Our in-house scientists and technicians are ready to answer even the toughest inquiries.

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