Abstract Most secondary schools in New Jersey have courses including chemistry, biology, physics, and other science programs that require the use of chemicals for teaching. With the permission of school administrators, a survey of three public schools was performed for the purpose of assessing chemical inventories with an eye toward stockroom safety. Of the schools that were inspected for this survey, it appeared as though the science departments accumulated unique collections through excess purchasing over decades or were recipients of donated laboratory chemicals. There appeared to be no thought given to need, use, storage availability, or eventual disposal of the chemical inventories. Other disturbing results were found during the evaluation and these are described in the paper.