KIRO 7 investigates: How hard is it to get dangerous chemicals

by: Henry Rosoff Updated:

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SEATTLE - A search for online sites that sell chemicals produces hundreds of pages of results. The first site KIRO tried was Right Price Chemicals. On the site you can easily find nitric acid, which is used in rocket fuel but more commonly fertilizer, for sale.

Nitric acid was found along with dozens of other hazardous chemicals in the Green Lake home where EPA agents will spend two weeks cleaning up.

On chemicalstore.com there was cadmium for sale.  It can give you severe flu-like symptoms, but can also be used to make batteries.  

KIRO 7 got all the way to the “payment information” page on four out of the four chemical buying websites we tried without needing any information about who was buying. The elderly owner of the Green Lake home claimed to be running a “chemical company” out of his home and claimed to have a degree in chemistry.

Jeffry Rodin, with the EPA, said he did not know what the rules are for who can buy many of the hazardous chemicals his team is now safely packing in steel barrels in Green Lake. However, a professor at the University of Washington said pretty much anyone could get dangerous chemicals. KIRO 7 found this to be largely true with just a few minutes on the computer.