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Chemistry set facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

A chemistry set is an educational toy allowing the user (typically a teenager) to perform simple chemistry experiments.


Around the 1960s, safety concerns began to limit the range of materials and experiments available in chemistry sets. In the United States, the Federal Hazardous Substances Labeling Act of 1960, the Toy Safety Act of 1969 and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, established in 1972, and the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 all introduced new levels of regulation, which led to the decline of chemistry sets' popularity during the 1970s and 1980s. The A. C. Gilbert Company went out of business in 1967, and the Porter Chemical Company went out of business in 1984.

Modern chemistry sets, with a few exceptions, tend to include a more restricted range of chemicals and simplified instructions. Many chemistry kits are single use, containing only the types and amounts of chemicals for a specific application.

Nonetheless, a GCSE equipment set was produced, offering students better equipment, and there is a more up-market range of sets available from Thames & Kosmos such as the C3000 Kit.


Typical contents found in chemistry sets, including equipment and chemicals, might include:



The experiments described in the instruction manual typically require a number of chemicals not shipped with the chemistry set, because they are common household chemicals:

Other chemicals, including strong acids, bases and oxidizers cannot be safely shipped with the set and others having a limited shelf life have to be purchased separately from a drug store:

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Chemistry set Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.