Hydroquinone a DEA listed chemical? I don't think so!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by desertrat, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. desertrat

    desertrat Subscriber

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    I recently ordered some chems from the Photographer's Formulary. I've used some of their chems before, but I previously got them elsewhere, like at Freestyle. I wanted to experiment with some new developers for X-ray film.

    I ordered:

    Catechol, 10g
    Glycin, 10g
    Hydroquinone, 100g

    I just got an email from the person who handles their internet orders, telling me I needed to fill out their "DEA form" for the hydroquinone. Her instructions were very detailed. I needed to fill out the exact chemical recipe I was going to use the hydroquinone in, sign and date, provide all my personal information, and then attach a photocopy of my drivers license.

    Now I happen to know that hydroquinone isn't a DEA list I chemical, a DEA list II chemical, or on any of their other "watched chemicals" lists. These lists can be viewed online. Hydroquinone isn't listed as requiring a DEA form in their bulk chemicals section, as some of their other chemicals are.

    So I sent her an email back asking her to please cancel the entire order, as I can get these chems elsewhere without any such forms.

    Well I guess I now gone and done it, because I don't know anywhere else I can get glycin. Well, I guess I don't need it that bad anyway.
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hydrochloric acid...not hydroquinone. Must be a mix up.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Call the Formulary and talk to Sherry. I'm sure she can help you.

    PE
     
  4. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Probably got it confused with hydromorphinol or hydromorphone, which are schedule I or II narcotics, respectively.
     
  5. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Doubtful, last I checked the Formulary doesn't stock narcotics :confused:
     
  6. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Funny, but I got the same thing with Pot. Carbonate here in Australia. John fixed me up with some so I didn't have to go through the rigmarole with the forms. I noticed that Photogs Formulary will not send Pyrogallol overseas, but I ordered(and Received) two boxes of PMK from Digital Truth, which of course, includes Pyro. Must be OK if it's in a box!
     
  7. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    Pretty sure that will get you on the DEA's watch list alright! :laugh:

    (Oh, you mean potassium...) :whistling:
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Ditto. Did you ever call the place and ask if this was some sort of mistake? I've had nothing but good experiences with P.F. in terms of products and customer service. It is possible that the DEA has changed their regulations, and that is just something that we will have to deal with...but I highly doubt it. If tweakers were going to figure out how to make speed out of Hydroquinone, they would have figured it out a century ago, not in 2011.
     
  9. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

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    I have to say, I have never had to fill out any forms with PF even with all the junk I have ordered over the years.

    As far as DEA regulations go, I sometimes wonder what part of the Paperwork Reduction Act the various branches of the government don't understand.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's definitely issues shipping Hyrdroquinone, quite bizzarrely even chemistry with trace amounts can't be shipped through the Channel Tunnel (UK/France) but it can be carried by ship.

    Ian
     
  11. CBG

    CBG Member

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    What in god's name is the issue with hydroquinone and tunnels? Have the chunnel folks gone paranoid like some of our domestic security people? What about hydroquinone in hair/cosmetic potions?
     
  12. desertrat

    desertrat Subscriber

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    Thanks PE, and 2F/2F. It was Sherry who sent me the email asking for the intended use form for the hydroquinone. I guess she should know which of their chemicals require these forms. Anyway, since I already emailed her last night with a request to cancel the order, I'll wait to see if there is any response.

    Something odd happened when I was filling out the online order form. I filled out the usual blocks with name, address, credit card info, etc. There was a block for company name, but I left that blank because I'm not a company and don't have a company name. I've left similar blocks blank on order forms from other companies and have never had any problems. But when I submitted this form, I got back an error message saying the company name block was empty and had to be filled in.

    I scratched my head over this, because I understood that the Formulary does sell to private individuals. I tried resubmitting the form and got back the same error message. In desperation, I filled in the block with a handle I use on other internet forums, similar to the one I use here but spelled differently. Then the form submitted OK and I got a confirmation e-mail.

    In the next day or so I got the e-mail from Sherry asking for the DEA form for the hydroquinone. Maybe they didn't like the looks of a company named Dezzertrat or an e-mail address beginning with dezzertrat. I don't know. At this point, I don't want to try to straighten this out. I just want the pending order to quietly go away and I will continue to buy photo chems from other companies I've done business with who don't require these forms or photo ID.
     
  13. KenR

    KenR Member

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    I had to jump through similar hoops to buy a good 25ml graduated cylinder to use with HC110 and Rodinal. I had used good glass lab ware in college and in a research lab that I worked in, and so wanted to get a lab grade measuring device rather than photo grade plastic. Well, same story - license and all kinds of forms for a $20 piece of glass. Somehow the people who are making crystal meth get the supplies they need, but we are given a hard time trying to get legit stuff for our hobby.
     
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  15. Joe O'Brien

    Joe O'Brien Member

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    Well, I know where I will go to get my graduated cylinders in the future!
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Some things you should know:

    1. The Unabomber lived about 50 miles south of the Formulary. I suspect that every chemical company and drug company within about 100 miles was thoroughly investigated by the FBI when he was finally arrested!

    2. Shipping overseas is quite different than domestic in terms of cost, customs and regulations. Since Digital Truth is located in the UK, they have different regulations shipping to Commonwealth countries and since they also have a presence in the US, they can ship here freely. The Formulary has no international presence at this time AFAIK.

    PE
     
  17. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You need a perscription for this:
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's an irony that jewellers can easily buy Potassium cyanide through their suppliers (used for stripping - cleaning, castings and plating) with no paperwork and more importantly no audit trail of the disposal, and as photographers we have issues with far less hazardous substances.

    Should add that about 25 years ago my factory unit had a visit from the London Met Drug Squad looking for an illegal narcotics factory, that was because equipment suppliers had passed on what I was buying. Our use was legit so no problems.

    It's not just the DEA or equivalent that want forms filled it's local authorities and police as well in some cases. It can be non chemists who make arbitary and nonsensical decisions as to what is/isn't safe.

    Ian
     
  19. desertrat

    desertrat Subscriber

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    OK, I think I may have found a link that may shed some light on this. I did some googling to see if there was any recent connection between hydroquinone and the DEA. I found this drug fact sheet from the DEA website. It's a fact sheet for opium:

    http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/abuse/drug_data_sheets/Opium.pdf

    I can't copy and paste from a pdf sheet, but here is the relevant text:

    I think in this case adding hydroquinone to the list was a typographical error, as I don't believe ingesting it will get a person high, just very sick. However, these lists are distributed to people who do business with the DEA, such as retailers of chemicals. I guess it's possible that hydroquinone might become very hard or impossible to get for a while until all this gets straightened out.
     
  20. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    The people making crystal meth use jam jars. The local news often shows their "equipment" after a bust.

    I wonder what the DEA thinks of the organic solvent morpholine? Is it also on some list? This is all a result of the plan to dumb-down America. We can't allow the rabble to have chemicals! :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2011
  21. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Typo for "hydrocodone", no doubt. I suppose they'll get around to fixing it eventually, but who knows how long the correction will take to propagate. Bother.

    -NT
     
  22. frobozz

    frobozz Subscriber

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    This will probably become like the Buttle/Tuttle typo in "Brazil" where the entire bureaucracy will now become concerned with justifying the mistake rather than correcting it... I expect armed troops to bust into darkrooms any moment now.

    Duncan
     
  23. desertrat

    desertrat Subscriber

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    On Saturday, I bought 100 grams of hydroquinone on Ebay from Adorama, and it's a Formulary product. Yesterday I got an email saying it had been processed for shipment. I think the Formulary has a lot of good products, I just don't feel like filling out forms or sending photo ID if I don't have to.
     
  24. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    Now I'm starting to understand e-mails I was getting from Adorama. A couple of years ago I bought some formulary's hydroquinone from them. From time to time I'm getting e-mails from Adorama asking to answer customer questions about this product. Usually the question is how pure it is. I was rather puzzled by the question, because it's a photographic product sold by a photographic company. But now it's more clear where these questions originated from. The DEA should really fix their web site. Dopers are likely using their web site as a reference, and not being terribly bright, try to get the stuff wherever possible. With this mistake, the DEA are poisoning poor innocent drug addicts! :smile:
    I think they should add some mercuric chloride to the list to "reduce" amount of confusion.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2011
  25. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    There are any number of common as well as specialty substances we use in the darkroom which might be utilized by dopers and drug labs. The DEA simply wants to keep track of how much goes where. If unusually large amts of a suspect chemical are being sold independent of those other chems which might typically be used in photography, they naturally are going to ask why. Dope is made from all kinds
    of things. In Holland they smoke vanadium salts and other heavy metals which might be used in alternative photo processes. A few people do it here (or did it here - can't imagine they live very long!).
    The DEA knows what it is doing. No big deal, and certainly no serious inconvience to anyone using these
    chemicals legitimately. None of us wants to see our distribution supply hampered or cut off by someone inadvertently selling something for illegal use. That's why this kind of information has to be collected.
     
  26. JohnMeadows

    JohnMeadows Member

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    Almost any material can be turned into a weapon, and as for drugs, you can get high drinking too much water. Do you really want to live in this kind of surveillance society, having to report so many purchases for the the sake of security theatre and a failed war on drugs?