Hands-On Labs (HOL) products have been safely used by students since 1994. Each year, tens of thousands of students use our products to safely and effectively perform traditional science lab work in non-campus settings. Our 21-year, 100% safety record of supplying course-specific, single-use/single-student kits containing laboratory equipment and experiment supplies is unmatched in the industry.

Safety Video (run time approximately 11 minutes):

Micro-Scale Chemistry Technology

All kits are designed on the principles of micro-scale chemistry technology which, in itself, is a material safety measure. Micro-scale techniques were specifically designed to provide a safe and environment-friendly method of performing scientific experiments. Instead of large beakers of chemicals, micro-scale techniques utilize small quantities of chemicals and scaled-down science equipment. But micro-scale does not compromise the quality of the learning experience or the integrity of the experimental result. Micro-scale techniques are extensively used on college campuses today, as well as in distance education. This is due to their proven success in science education, exceptional safety record, ease of use, and minimal environmental impact.

Chemical Disposal

  1. Students are encouraged to contact or view their local Public Safety Department’s guidelines with regard to proper disposal.
  2. All kits are designed using micro-scale science principles, practices, and techniques. Micro-scale chemistry science was specifically developed to minimize potential safety and environmental hazards while still providing valid learning experiences to students. The chemicals used in a typical micro-scale experiment are in very low molar concentrations and in very small quantities, averaging in the 0.5 to 5.0 mL range. Thus, hazardous chemical exposure is close to non-existent, but students are still able to conduct traditional science experimentation. The small quantities and unique packaging of diluted chemical utilized in our kits, allow us to fully comply with 49 CFR 173.4 as well as IATA regulations and to legally and safely ship kits to science students all around the globe.
  3. Since student safety is paramount, experiments are intentionally designed to avoid extremely hazardous chemicals and chemicals in hazardous quantities or concentrations. The vast majority of chemistry experiments we offer are inorganic, as relatively few organic experiments are safe for students to perform outside of a formal laboratory.
  4. Experiments normally result in a neutralized solution and students are instructed on how to neutralize any leftover acid or base solutions before disposal. In light of these precautions plus the minute quantities and diluted chemicals used in kits, students are generally instructed to blot up remaining chemicals with paper toweling for solid waste disposal. Special instructions are given in the lab manual if alternative disposal methods are required.
  5. Due to the minute quantities, low concentrations, and diluted and/or neutralized chemicals used in our kits, the above described disposal methods are well within acceptable levels of disposal guidelines defined for the vast majority of local solid and wastewater regulations. However, since regulations can vary in some communities, students are advised to check with their area authorities to confirm that they are in compliance with local regulations and/or if they desire assistance with disposal.

Biological Specimens Handling and Disposal

Hands-On Labs (HOL) purchases its biological specimens from companies that have provided the highest quality specimens for more than 35 years. We believe that dissection is a powerful learning experience that instills knowledge, respect and provides positive benefits to our society. Experts agree that with dissection, students learn basic anatomy in a “hands-on” manner that cannot be duplicated. No HOL specimens are threatened or endangered species. All specimens are obtained following USDA and Fish and Wildlife regulations. Our suppliers utilize sound conservation and ecological practices. Many specimens are domestic or introduced species. All specimens are euthanized utilizing published guidelines established and advocated by the American Veterinary Association. Please read How to Handle Preserved Biological Specimens for complete details of safety specifications and procedures when using kits containing biological specimens.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is available for each chemical used in Hands-On Labs science kits.

SDS sheets are designed to provide chemical, physical, health, and safety information on reagents and supplies. An important skill in the safe use of chemicals is being able to read a Safety Data Sheet (SDS), which provides information about how to handle store, transport, use and disposal of chemicals in a safe manner.

SDS sheets also provide workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling and working with chemical substances. While there is no standard format for an SDS, they all provide basic information about physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point, etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid procedures, chemical reactivity, safe storage, safe disposal, protective equipment required, and spill clean-up procedures. An SDS is required to be readily available at any business where any type of chemical is used. It is important to know how to read and understand the SDS. They normally include the following information:

  • Product Identification (Chemical Name and Trade Names)
  • Hazardous Ingredients (Components and Percentages)
  • Physical Data (Boiling point, density, solubility in water, appearance, color, etc.)
  • Fire and Explosion Data (Flash point, extinguisher media, special firefighting procedures, and unusual fire and explosion hazards)
  • Health Hazard Data (Exposure limits, effects of overexposure, emergency and first aid procedure)
  • Reactivity Data (Stability, condition to avoid, incompatible materials, etc.)
  • Spill or Leak Procedures (Steps to take to control and clean up spills and leaks and waste disposal methods)
  • Control Measures (Respiratory protection, ventilation, protection for eyes or skin, or other protective equipment)
  • Special Precautions (How to handle and store, steps to take in a spill, disposal method, and other precautions)
  • The SDS is a tool that is available for making decisions about chemicals

Latex Allergies

As a precaution for your health and safety, please review the following information concerning your lab kit and consult your physician with any questions or concerns.

  • Specific items may contain latex: balloons, rubber stopper, reflex hammer, and eye dropper
  • Certain specimens contain Latex: cat and fetal pig
  • Items in our lab kits that are latex-free: gloves, apron, rubber bands and masks

Recommendations on how to handle the latex products if you are allergic:

  • Wear all personal protection equipment
  • Consult your Specimen Care Guide if your kit includes a dissection specimen