Getting chemical equipment and lab supplies

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Photo Engineer, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    In dealing with chemical supply houses for chemicals and lab supplies, I have found it getting more and more difficult to obtain the things I want.

    With one supplier, they refused absolutely to deliver to me as I had a residential address. I had to go through a second party.

    In another case, a supplier said that their company had been tied up for a week with a visit from the FBI and DEA inspecting their customer lists and records for compliance with all laws. Then they were handed a new list of forbidden chemicals that they could no longer ship to anyone along with a list that they could ship to registered companies and a third list that could go to people who register with the DEA. (BTW, this was NOT the Formulary or any other company discussed on APUG).

    Just FYI, we are being driven out of the wet chemistry business bit by bit.

    PE
     
  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    yup, I've just waited two weeks for some c41 stabilizer from Samy's, they just don't care enough. That shouldn't be hard to get.
     
  3. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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    Yes the western world has become paranoid, truly paranoid in the exact meaning of the word. Your country and england is probably the worst, together with china and north korea, only paranoid in a little different areas. That last part may sound a bit uncomfortable. Recently i read on a blog about someone who became "robbed" on her old little nail scissor at some airport, when a pilot joined the discussion. He also thought it was insane and he had once asked the security if he could take aboard a broken bottle (that could be used as a weapon). He could not. But every time he flies a plane home to scandinavia from the mediterranian in the summer, there are at least 600kg of filled bottles of alcohol, in the cabin.. All of us could write examples and examples, from photographers being harassed by the police at the same time as authorities are setting up cameras at public places. We see security services all around the western world suggesting things that turns upside down on the principle of being innocent until proven otherwise. Governments complain at china about censorship at the same time as they propose filtering of the internet, usually motivated by some pure scare mongering, using threats to make things politically feasible for things people otherwise would have raised protests about. We see registering that would have made the east german stasi green of envy.

    People even accept "preemtive strikes". But if we say it in a different way, the people realize it: I do not like my neghbour, he might want to hurt me, so i'll better punish him on beforehand, just for safety.. Phrased like that anyone realize that they wont either be or feel more secure after something like that. You have also that famous american cite about those who trade liberty for some temporary safety. It is really "temporary" since people usually are ready to sacrifice their life to get liberty.

    911 someone may say, no this started earlier at two occasions. The first in Berlin 1989 and the other 1991, the great enemy, the thing not to become disappeared. If politicians had even suggested what becomes law today for 25 years ago, they would have ended their career there and then. Our greatest weapon back then was our right and freedom of not being under surveillance, we lived in a society based on trust, not suspicion. What we are seeing now is something Plato described 2400 years ago, a pattern that has been seen every now and then through history, how the tyrant rises from the democracy as a protector. Today we can soon say about some of our politicians: Terrorism and democracy do not mix, thus we need to end democracy. Remember that democracy is not only about being allowed to vote. Most terrible regimes are very found of public referendums.. The important things are opposition, a free forming of opinions, privacy, freedom of speech, press and association, and of course the presumtion of innocence. The base pillars of democracy, voting is just a little piece of it.

    This happens every time when people abdicate responsibility, and to add injury, in a controlled environment people tend to abdicate responsibility. - But i did only follow orders.. - That is the classical excuse when trying to weasel out from responsibility. All those who just do what they are told, licking up to the boss and so on, they are the tyrannical ones. Not because they want tyranny, but because that behavior leads to it. When everyone just do what they are told and not take responsibility over their own actions based on their own thinking, you get a kind of dictatorship where the top rules in absolute.

    I will go as far to say that countries behind the iron curtain did not become that far behind primarily due to their communism, they ended there due to the effective crime control under paranoid leaders. When we are overly controlled, we start to become gray, trying to live our lives under the radar. Not doing anything that could wake even a tiny far fetched suspicion. And when we act on feelings, a hunch, or trying to develop something, we cannot allways account for everything we do, and thus we avoid it. In the eastern bloc they had everything, all natural resoucres and knowledge. They could have gone to the moon in the sixties, they built nuclear powerplants, they had top technology in helthcare and could do eye-surgery with lasers in the seventies, they produced world class weapons and so on.. But all that came from above, no one needed to take responsibility over their own actions. In ordinary life nothing happended. No one took care of that since top leaders could not rule down in every little detail of life, and those who could have done something did not do anything since they tried to live under the radar. That is the path we have start to walk today, along the road paved with good intentions.
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I regularly shop (in person) at at lab supply place here in Sunnyvale. I've had to fill out the DEA forms...it's really not (or wasn't) a big deal. But then I'm there in person...maybe that makes a difference.
     
  5. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    The blanket bans are discouraging. Perhaps if the suppliers (and the DEA) were knowledgeable enough to know what chemicals were specifically photographically related (like Formulary) they might able to be be more helpful.

    My new local supplier did ask my purpose when ordering Sodium Thiosulphate and was satisfied by my needs for photographic use , but also had a list of chemicals which required a more cautious attitude by the supplier. She rattled them off, but I've forgotten them. None were useful for photographic use.

    I'm not sure that the dangers involved in legitimate use are a factor here, more likely the possibilities of misuse.

    Perhaps I'll need to end up ordering kits from Formulary or Bostick and Sullivan (I can't imagine the likely costs of Hazmat courier shipping to Oz recently announced by B&S), they do seem to have figured out an approach to this difficulty.

    Regards - Ross
     
  6. dr5chrome

    dr5chrome Member

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    I find this very strange. We hand mix all our chems from the ground up.
    I have never in 13 years had one issue in getting any agent needed.
    I would like to know what agents are sending up such red flags in this thread?
    :confused::confused:

    dw



     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I think you missed Ron's point which is that many large chemical companies won't deliver to private addresses or supplier members of the public, only selling to companies and requiring official orders.

    That's certainly been the case in the UK for well over 10 years and is required by the Police and local authorities, however more specialist suppliers of photo chemicals don't usually sell the chemicals they are concerned about.

    It's often because the some of the range of chemicals or equipment available from the major suppliers can be used for all sorts of illegal manufacture. I've been on the end of a visit from 4 plain clothed Drug Squad London police officers looking for an an illegal amphetamine factory purely because of glass reaction vessels I'd bought.

    So sometimes as Ron said a private individual has to buy through a third party.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2010
  8. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    When I got hold of TEA, the supplier had me fill out a form, since the authorities had determined that it "could possibly be used as a precursor to manufacturing chemical weapons or illicit substances". You could hear the smirk in his voice.

    "What? Like water?" I reply. That elicited full blown laughter :D
     
  9. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    This is making me think of something I heard a long time ago, some photochemical can be used in the production of meth? Is that really true?
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I will not say yes or no.

    PE
     
  11. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

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    Any chance of getting the name of the lab supply.

    Roger
     
  12. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

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    We discussed this very thing at a alternative processing group meeting the other evening, and we discovered I think that each one of us -- about 5 -- were dealing with a different supplier. some were local some were not, some were photographic related, some were not, and we each had different experiences. I related that I was buying locally, and picking up in person and I think I had had the least issues, as there was no shipping and no need for business addresses and the like. You may want to see what sorts of local dealers you can find in your area, and try that first.
     
  13. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    So PE, have you complained about the specific cases in question to your appropriate elected officials?
     
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  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have trouble buying over the counter cold medications
    ... restriction is a fact of life these days ...
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Mark;

    There are not enough of us to make a difference.

    PE
     
  17. adam hirsch

    adam hirsch Member

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    I've read this whole thread. Although, I don't have a current need to order chemicals, I will offer my opinion, here.

    The world, today, is intrinsically different from what it was 20 years ago. 9/11 changed everything, not in the way that it was the ONLY event that forced us to rethink security, but, b/c it showed the world on a grand scale that there are segments of society (here, specifically Al-Qaeda,) that want to DESTROY THE WESTERN WORLD. They want to destroy our way of life, and they have infinite patience. They will wait, until the time is right to unleash terrorism against us that was unthinkable 20 years ago. I know very little about the conflict in Northern Ireland in the 1970's-almost nothing. I DO know, however, that neither side in the conflict, CUT OFF THE HEADS OF THE THE OTHER SIDE AND POSTED VIDEOS on the evening news (obviously, the wasn't YOUTUBE back then.) I assume many of you, out there, have young kids, whom you love dearly; well, these terrorists would think nothing of destroying them in front of you, while you watched. Why? Sometimes, in this world, we must recognize evil when we see it. Forget this moral relativism. Evil is evil. We are at a crossroads as a civilization, where the western world must stand up for its values and culture, or we will be destroyed by Al-Qaeda and other groups who think similarly. Do you think, with a straight face that once we ALLOW Iran to aquire nuclear weapons that they wouldn't LOVE to pass them to Al-Qeada, who will smuggle them over our borders? I mean really. Do you feel safe against that prospect for you and YOUR families?

    My point is that I believe that if our government goes a little overboard with not allowing our access to certain photgraphic chemicals, or makes it difficult to obtain some, and their actions stem from their honest belief that it will help their fight against terrorism, and if I DO need these chemicals, at some point...I will gladly sacrifice the inconvenience for the POTENTIAL (however small) safety of my children. Maybe, some of you are rolling your eyes, but I believe this, firmly.

    BTW, NOT that I am defending a communist nation's traits IN ANY WAY, and I'm not going to live in one, but, there is ONE characteristic that we need a little more of.............If Al Qaeda had struck a similar building in China, and had killed 3,000 innocent people, what do you think THEY would have done????? Would they sit around hand-wringing, debating about the Patriot
    Act's merits?????? Would they self-reflect and say, "Oh, I wonder what we, as a nation, as a culture did to deserve this?" "Maybe, if only we sat down with the terrorists and understood them better...understood WHY they hated us so much, we'd stop them from attacking us, again." Do you think China would do that??????????????? Neither should we. I'm sorry, this is about the thread, originally started...let's be willing to sacrifice a little inconvenience for the good of preserving our freedoms and our kids ways of life.
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    In other words, let the government make analog photography impossible? That is the direction we are headed, you know.

    PE
     
  19. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Preserving freedoms by destroying them? - that doesn't make sense. Refusing to try and understand situations is absurd, it doesn't imply complicity.

    Tom
     
  20. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Somehow I suspect this thread is going to get a little political ...
     
  21. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Wow. Two new posts while I wrote one sentence.
     
  22. BradS

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    I really think you guys are over-reacting a little tiny bit. What is the big deal with registering with the DEA (now DHS)? Do you own a car? is it registered with the DMV??? You don't think twice about that - do you? So what's with all this drama over registering with the Gov so that you can buy chems?

    I was just at the local supplier the other day...bought a quarter pound of Silver Nitrate. Apparently, it has some non-photographic uses....so, yup, they checked my id and made sure that I was already "on file" as having registered. What's the big deal?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2010
  23. adam hirsch

    adam hirsch Member

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    ...I don't know anything about the ordering of chemicals, so, from that perspective, I guess I shouldn't talk. Maybe, if I were, I'd be upset, too. Also, maybe, like the ridiculous ephederine situation at the pharmacy, the govt should stop punishing us, b/c a few criminals are manufacturing drugs. I agree with that, totally. Maybe, they should educate themselves on what analougue photographers use, so that we're not affected by this stuff, I agree. My points, above, just stem from my overall frustration that this country has gone so far left in the past year or two, and it scares the you know what out of me. I believe, 100%, that if we try to appease terrorists, or be PC, in ANY WAY, so as not to offend "that part of the world," we will set this country up (and all of the Western world,) for its own destruction.

    I apologize if I spoke about a topic with with I have no experience, but, I, most of you, I'm sure, want our way of life preserved for us and our kids. We, as a society, have nothing to apologize for. We didn't do anything. The war came to us; however, if I'm wrong about the topic of this thread, then I apologize.
     
  24. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

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    This is somewhat disheartening to me as I have wanted to mix my own chems for quite some time. :sad:
     
  25. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    DO not believe this crap. Go to the photographer's formulary or art craft chemicals and CJ chemicals on ebay. Everything you need to get started mixing your own is easily available. This is just so much fear mongering and "the sky is falling!" I cannot believe it. Do NOT buy into the fear. Just look and you will find what you need.
     
  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    nail on the head brad .. ( all of your posts .. )