My wife and I homeschool our children, we are looking to purchase a centrifuge for our "science" lab. Nothing fancy just basic for the kids to do experiments with. I checked out ebay and most seller say the following statement…"The sale of this item may be subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state and local regulatory agencies. If so, do not bid on this item unless you are an authorized purchaser. If the item is subject to FDA regulation, I will verify your status as an authorized purchaser of this item before shipping of the item."
SO…how do I find out if where we live is subject to FDA regulation to purchase or own a centrifuge by private parties? I cannot find a list per say, anywhere that depicts who and where can own a centrifuge? How do these people know? I asked several sellers and they choose not to reply? Basically, I hate to bid on it, win and be unable to recieve it! Just want to know beforehand
ALSO>>>WHY is this regulated by the FDA in areas?…
Depends upon exactly what kind of centrifuge you are trying to purchase. Sounds as though a simple bench top unit should meet your needs. If so, doing an Internet search will quickly show you these are only restricted for export out of the US. See second link below for an example.
You should be able to purchase if you are a US citizen and have it shipped within the US. Be advised you may be placed upon a tracking list. As such, you may have to account for the equipment in the future. There are many such items of technology which are restricted for export. There are still even high level software packages which are subject to such restrictions. See first link below for an example.
Do NOT simply discard the gear and expect to say "I just threw it away." if you are contacted in the future by Gov’t officials. They will want proof of the disposal. Otherwise you may be in for a protracted investigation to proved you did not transfer the material out of the country. You may be chuckling, but there are repeated cases of individuals buying surplus gear and then transferring it overseas against regulations.
The concern is that while technical gear is in and of itself harmless, when combined with other lab gear, the end result could be, shall we say, less then desirable if used by knowledgeable people with harmful intent.
State and local authorities are more likely to be concerned with HOW you use the centrifuge. In particular what chemicals you may be storing/using along with any biological cultures if any. You might be amazed to see just what is considered a hazardous material.
So depending upon size and scope of your home " ‘science’ lab", you may need to register your ‘lab’ with local authorities so they don’t assume you are engaging in illegal activities if they stumble across it. At a minimum you should have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)s for all of your reagents and chemicals.