Laboratory Glassware Laws

Graduated CylindersI’ve been getting loads of questions lately regarding the legality of owning laboratory glassware at home. While I cannot promise that the following laws or guidelines are 100% true, I did quite a bit of research and this is what I came up with. Seriously though, check your local laws first, this information is purely anecdotal advice, not legal advice in any way.

  • Lab glassware in Texas- If you want to own the following in Texas; boiling flasks, Erlenmeyer flasks, distilling apparatus, filter flasks, adapter tubes, etc., you should contact your local government to get a permit. Most likely they will grant you the permit from what I’ve heard. It seems like the law is going a little bit overboard, but I’m not here to judge, just deliver the facts.

    What happens if you get caught in Texas with illegal glassware? I heard they send you to Mexico. Just kidding. Technically owning such glassware puts you in possession of items that could be used to make drugs. I really don’t know what the punishment is, but as they say, “don’t mess with Texas.” Just contact your local government.

  • Some counties, especially in the Western U.S., have laws regarding ownership of certain glassware such as Erlenmeyer flasks. Again, this is because they can be used in the production of drugs. It’s important that you check your local laws. However, it’s safe to say that in the majority of the U.S. it is perfectly legal to own laboratory glassware. Chemicals are a different story.
  • What about test tubes? From what I’ve seen so far, it’s legal to own test tubes and graduated cylinders throughout the U.S. The same goes for beakers. Am I sure this is 100% true? No. However, I haven’t read anything yet to challenge this information.

Just be careful! You don’t want to end up in jail over a piece of glass. Some of the laws may be a bit far-fetched, not singling out any one large lone star state or anything, but the laws are in place for a reason. Don’t break them!

Please leave a comment about lab glassware laws if you know of any or if there is any information in this post that needs to be updated or changed.

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