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  1. #1
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Getting chemical equipment and lab supplies

    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. #2
    wildbill's Avatar
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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.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  3. #3

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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. #4
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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. #5
    Ross Chambers's Avatar
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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. #6
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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?


    dw



    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    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

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr5chrome View Post
    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?


    dw
    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 Ian Grant; 04-10-2010 at 05:53 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  8. #8

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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

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    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
    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. #10
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    I will not say yes or no.

    PE

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