Chemical Inventory Program

Every laboratory or other University entity that uses, stores, or generates hazardous chemicals is required to submit a comprehensive annual inventory of their hazardous chemicals to the Environmental Health and Safety office.  Department administrators are responsible for ensuring that their department has accurate and current chemical inventories on file with Environmental Health and Safety.


A hazardous material is any material that, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics, poses a significant present or potential hazard to human health and safety or to the environment if released.

Materials to report in a chemical inventory include, but are not limited to:

Laboratory chemicals acids, bases, solvents, mercury, metallic salts, halogenated compounds, toxic substances
Compressed gas toxic/poisonous, corrosive, flammable and combustible, and explosive gases
Liquids under pressure liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen, propane, aerosols, chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants (liquid/gas phases)
Paints and inks both water- and oil-based paints, spray paints, printing inks or pastes
Solvents and spirits degreasers, kerosene, paint thinners
Lubricants pump oil, hydraulic oil, motor oil, brake fluid, greases
Finishes varnishes, shellacs, floor waxes, lacquers
Fuels gasoline, camping fuel, diesel fuel
Maintenance/structural materials asphalt-containing roofing, adhesives, bonding agents
Grounds/landscape materials fertilizers, plant food supplements, soda ash
Pesticides insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, defoliants, herbicides
Drugs pharmaceuticals
Photographic materials developers, reducers, stabilizers, activators, fixers, stop bath
Custodial materials cleaning agents, bleaches, floor strippers, disinfectants, corrosive products, ammonia

Very small quantities of hazardous materials (such as liquid toners and cleaners stored in offices) need not be reported. Call Safety & Health at 696-3461 if you have a question about whether a chemical or other material needs to be reported through the Chemical Inventory Program.

Each department must submit an update annually.  If there are any significant changes such as room relocations, increased maximum amounts, new or dangerous chemicals added, or changes in names and phone numbers of key contacts, you must submit updates to Safety & Health within 30 days of the change.

Completed forms should be submitted electronically to



Below are the instructions for completion of the Chemical Inventory Form. If you have any questions, please call 696-3461, or email

Step 1:  Save the blank Chemical Inventory Form to your computer.  It is in Microsoft Excel.

Step 2:  Review the chemicals that you have. If you haven’t used a chemical in 3 years and don’t have any pending research that requires it, consider donating to a colleague or disposing of it by submitting a request for Unwanted Chemical Pickup through Safety & Health.

      Chemicals that must be included in the inventory:
  • all of the items from the list above
  • all chemicals and materials used in University laboratories, art studios and other facilities for which a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) exists
  • all compressed gases
  • any flammable paints, solvents, glues, fuels and other petroleum products
  • materials that would create an explosive or toxic vapor hazard to unprotected personnel during fire emergencies (lead, mercury, magnesium, etc.)

Step 3:  Complete the columns on the form as outlined below:
Column A– *REQUIRED FIELD* DEPARTMENT: Indicate the name of the University department or office that controls the hazardous material inventory.

Column B– *REQUIRED FIELD* BUILDING: Indicate the building where material is located.

Column C – *REQUIRED FIELD* ROOM: Indicate the room number where material is located. Do not put a dash (-) between numbers or letters. Example: S106, not S-106.
Note: The three preceding fields can be copy/pasted for the whole inventory.
Column D – *REQUIRED FIELD* CHEMICAL NAME: Indicate the proper chemical name of the substance and/or any common name listed on label. If there is a concentration listed or if the substance is anhydrous, please indicate in this column. Example: Formaldehyde, 10%.
Be sure to include any prefixes, (i.e., n-butanol). DO NOT USE abbreviations or chemical formulas.
Column E – *REQUIRED FIELD* CAS No.: The Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number may be found for specific chemicals on the chemical container, material safety data sheets (MSDSs) or at online search sites, available below. This information is critical to the effectiveness of the database. Paints and some chemical mixtures do not have unique CAS numbers. Please include dashes in the number. Example: 7768-77-0

Column F – *REQUIRED FIELD* QUANTITY: Indicate the total amount of the chemical using a numerical value ONLY. Example: 2 four liter containers of toluene would be recorded as 2.1134 in the QUANTITY column and gallons in the UNITS column.

Column G – *REQUIRED FIELD* UNITS: Indicate liquid chemicals in gallons, solid chemicals in pounds, and gases in cubic feet.
Safety & Health cannot accept inventories that contain metric units. You must convert metrics to english standard units. There are conversion calculators on tabs at the bottom of the Inventory Form. If you have rotating stock of chemicals, report the average amount on hand. For partial containers, estimate the remaining quantity.

Column H – *REQUIRED FIELD* MSDS On File: Check your MSDS file and ensure that you have an MSDS for each chemical that you use. MSDS can be obtained from the chemical manufacturer or distributor. Safety & Health does not maintain MSDS for departments. If you have difficulty finding an MSDS, see the MSDS Resources link below. Note: MSDS sheets for chemicals no longer in use must be retained for 30 years, indicate the date the item’s use was ceased and place the sheet in a “No Longer In Use” folder.

Column I – *REQUIRED FIELD* SHELF LIFE: Indicate the expiration date of the chemical by month and/or year for time sensitive chemicals. Leave blank for chemicals that are not time sensitive. More information is available below regarding time sensitive chemicals. It is very important that hazardous chemicals are disposed of before they become shock sensitive or explosive.

Column J – *REQUIRED FIELD* HAZARD CLASS: Review the label on the container and the MSDS. From the choices listed on the spreadsheet, choose the appropriate hazard class(es). If you cannot determine the correct class, choose “Cannot Be Determined” and submit an MSDS for this chemical with your inventory. Hazard classification provides information concerning adverse reactions of the chemical and proper storage. Additional information on the hazardous class is available, see below.

Column K – *SUGGESTED FIELD* VENDOR: Indicate the name of the vendor or company that manufactures or sales the chemical listed.

Column L – *SUGGESTED FIELD* CATALOG NUMBER: Indicate the catalog number for the chemical listed. Vendors often have unique numbers assigned to the chemicals they sale.
Step 4:  Save the newly updated file and e-mail it to Your file will be inserted into the University inventory and reviewed by a staff member. You may be contacted by Safety & Health if substances you work with are extremely hazardous or strictly regulated. Keep a copy of your inventory for future use as this is an annual reporting requirement.



Chemical Inventory Form

SAMPLE Chemical Inventory Form

Unwanted Chemical Pickup Request Form

CAS Lookup Sites:
Search the manufacturer’s web site for MSDS frequently provides the CAS number

Chemical Hazard Class/Category Information:
Chemical Hazard Categories

SDS Information and Lookup Sites:
SDS Research Resources

Chemical Storage Information:

Time Sensitive Chemicals
Management of Peroxide Forming Chemicals