Chemical Inventory

Chemicals tracks the storage and use of hazardous materials on all UC campuses. UC Berkeley is required to report that information, and these reports are compiled by EH&S. In addition, Chemicals assists emergency responders and provides all lab members with a tool with which to track hazardous items in their rooms. See the Chemicals User Guide below.

Anyone responsible for an area where hazardous materials are stored is required to maintain a complete chemical inventory in Chemicals. This includes, but is not limited to, people in the following roles:

  • Principal Investigators
  • Supervisors
  • Storeroom Managers

Chemical inventory records must be updated and certified annually. In addition, they must be updated within 30 days of any significant changes to the inventory, such as a room relocation, additions of large amounts of new chemicals, or changes in the names and phone numbers of key contacts.

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Chemicals Demo

Chemicals User Guide

Searching Your Inventory

  1. From the home page, click Search Chemicals. You may search by CAS #, name, molecular formula, or by molecular structure.
  2. To search by molecular structure, click the Substructure tab (next to Keyword). You may then draw a substructure using the Marvin JS chemical structure tool, and items in your inventory with this substructure will appear below. 
  3. If you would like to filter your search results by Location or Tag, click on the respective dropdown menu and choose the appropriate sublocation or tag.

Adding Items

  1. From the home page, click +Add to Inventory in the middle of the page. You can search by CAS #, name, GHS, or product number. Press Enter, and a list of items will appear. 
  2. Select the chemical that most represents your item by clicking on its title. 
  3. Under Containers, click the + on the right to add the chemical to your inventory. Fill out all required fields in the item information page. All required fields are marked with an asterisk. 
    1. The required fields Chemical Name and Physical State will populate automatically and everything else will need to be filled out manually. 
    2. The Barcode field is optional and can be filled in if you choose to scan the item in (this field refers to UC-provided QR codes on stickers, not the manufacturer’s barcode already on the container). 
    3. The Container Size field only accepts numbers, while units are to be selected in the separate Units field. 
    4. The Amount in Container must be less than or equal to the Container Size. The Amount in Container will autofill to Container Size. You may edit the field if you wish.  
    5. You also must choose a Location to place the material in. If the desired location is not listed, refer to Adding a Location below to create a new sublocation. 
    6. If your material is in solution with a solvent, you may enter the solvent and concentration in the appropriate fields. 
  4. Once you are done filling out the form, click Save.

Adding Items Not Found in the Add to Inventory Search

Some less common items that you need to add may not be found in the Add to Inventory search. To add these items, select the vertical ellipsis (three dots) menu icon on the right, across from Add Chemical. Here you will see two choices: Add Commercial Substance, or Add Novel Compound

IF YOUR MATERIAL IS A PRODUCT OR CHEMICAL THAT WAS ONCE PURCHASED FROM A MANUFACTURER

  1. Select Add Commercial Substance
  2. Enter in required fields as well as any other fields you have information for. 
    1. The more information that is entered, the better the Chemicals’ Library Management Team can verify the substance. 
    2. Additional notes: 
      1. The product number is not the same as the CAS number. If there is no product number, please enter the chemical name. 
      2. SMILES stands for “Simplified Molecular-Input Line-Entry System” and is another way to represent the chemical structure - it is a voluntary field. 
  3. When you have completed the form, select Save
  4. Click the + sign next to Containers to add this item to your inventory. 

IF YOUR MATERIAL IS SOMETHING THAT HAS NEVER EXISTED BEFORE AND WAS FORMULATED WITHIN YOUR LAB

  1. Select Add Novel Compound
  2. Enter the name of your compound, physical state, and anything else you know about the material. 
  3. When you have completed the form, select Save
  4. Click the + sign next to Containers to add this item to your inventory.

Adding a Location

In Chemicals, locations may refer to sublocations or rooms. Sublocations are the areas within your room where items are stored (e.g., flammable cabinet, -30 freezer, Joan’s bench, Shelf 4C, etc.). Only owners or managers are able to create new sublocations.

If you need to add a new room to your inventory, you must do so in the Labs @ Berkeley Roster Tool. Visit our Labs @ Berkeley page for details.

To create a new sublocation in Chemicals:

  1. From the home page, click on Inventory Summary.
  2. Scroll down until you reach the Sublocations heading at the bottom of the page.
  3. Click on the right, and then fill in the required fields (Temperature and Pressure default to Ambient and can be edited as needed). 
  4. If the sublocation stores a particular hazard class, you may mark it by clicking the appropriate pictogram. 
  5. After inputting the information, click Save and this should then appear as a location option when you add new chemicals. 

Deleting Chemicals

  1. From the home page, select Search Chemicals.
  2. Enter the name of the desired chemical. 
  3. Select the desired chemical from the search results. 
  4. Select the vertical ellipsis (three dots) to the right of Containers and select Remove.

Certifying the Inventory

Chemical inventories must be certified at least once per year (i.e., the certification date must be within a year from the current date). Once the chemical inventory is accurate for all rooms, it can be certified by the owner or manager. To certify the inventory:

  1. From the home page, click on Inventory Summary
  2. Click Certify or Recertify Inventory (in the middle of the screen next to Inventory Overview).

Printing Door Hazard Signs

To print door hazard signs (previously known as placards in CIS): 

  1. From the home page, select Inventory Summary
  2. Scroll down to the Door Hazard Signs section (just above Sublocations). 
  3. Select the room that you would like to create a door hazard sign for. You will be redirected to the door hazard sign interface. If the room is part of a room suite, you will first be asked whether you want to see a door hazard sign for the room or for the entire room suite. Select the appropriate room.
  4. While viewing the door hazard sign, inventory owners and delegates can edit Emergency Contact informationAdditional Hazards or Special Concerns, and Additional Detail by clicking the Edit pencil icon on the right side of the field. 
  5. Print by pressing Ctrl+P (Windows) or Command+P (Mac). 

If you do not have a color printer, email Russ Blackmar at blackmar@berkeley.edu to request a door hazard sign.

Resources

What to Include in Your Chemical Inventory

You are encouraged to include all hazardous materials in your inventory so the information is readily available to emergency responders. The following examples are materials required to be in your Chemicals inventory: all materials that are toxic, oxidizing, corrosive, reactive, carcinogenic, or flammable, as well as any liquids and gases under pressure including liquid nitrogen tanks and compressed air cylinders. 

Many materials should not be entered in the chemical inventory, however, per the table below. If you are unsure what to include, please contact EH&S.

What to include in your inventoryWhat not to include
All chemicals and chemical products (except those listed to the right) Retail products used and stored in amounts and frequencies typical to ordinary household usage.
All compressed and liquefied gases Etiologic agents (bacteria, viruses, select agents, and toxins)
Lubricants, fuels, and oils (motor oil, gasoline, diesel, vacuum pump oil) Biological culture media, agar, serum proteins, albumin
Aerosol lubricants Enzyme preparations
Paints including spray-paints Non-hazardous buffers
Pesticides and biocides Radioactive materials (unless mixed with hazardous chemicals)
  Pre-packed test kits for medical labs
  Commercially packaged drugs in solid, final form (tablets, pills) for direct administration
  Commercial food, drugs, and cosmetics, covered by the FDA
  Materials to be used within 1-2 days (“working solutions”)
  Hazardous waste

Additional Features

There are many other features and functions in Chemicals. Many of these are explained in-depth on the Chemicals Help page. You can also navigate here by clicking the question mark icon at the top right of your Chemicals screen.

BARCODING/SCANNING

Barcoding and scanning are not required at this time. If you have questions about barcoding your inventory, please contact Russ Blackmar at cheminv@berkeley.edu.

SHARING/BORROWING ITEMS

You may request to borrow items from a Colleague Lab (below) or from someone on campus by selecting the Campus Request box on the page of the chemical you want to borrow. 

TRANSFERRING ITEMS

You may transfer ownership of items to another Inventory owner on campus by selecting Transfer from the vertical ellipses next to the item. If you wish to relocate an item within your lab, simply edit the Location of the item.

CLONING ITEMS

If you are adding multiple containers of the same amount of the same material, the easiest way to do this is by using the Clone function. After you have added one item, click the vertical ellipsis (three dots) to the right of the item and select Clone

TAGGING ITEMS

In the ‘Inventory Summary’ section, tags may be created (by a manager or owner) to reflect items used for a certain experiment, process, user, etc. (e.g., “Friedel-Crafts Reaction”, “Judy’s Items”, etc). When you then add or edit an item, you can attach the appropriate tag to it. Items can be searched by tag. 

CHECKING OUT ITEMS

You may checkout items to yourself or other people on campus. This allows your lab to know who has the item while it is being borrowed. To do this, click Checkout from the vertical ellipsis menu in the ‘Container’ section.

DISPENSING MATERIAL

You can use the Dispense function to subtract an amount you are placing into another container. To do this, click Dispense from the vertical ellipsis menu in the ‘Container’ section. Please note, this will add an additional container to your inventory.

REASSIGNING MATERIAL

If your container has not been assigned the correct material, you can use the Reassign function to search for the correct substance to assign to your container. To do this, click Reassign from the vertical ellipsis menu in the ‘Container’ section. 

COLLEAGUES

On the Inventory Summary page, you may select labs to be Colleagues. A Colleague lab is a lab you work closely with or share similar processes with. As Colleagues, you can see each other’s items and locations, which makes it easier to borrow or check out items. 

To add a Colleague, select the lab under the Colleagues section in the Inventory Summary page. The lab will then receive a request asking if they want to be Colleagues with your lab. 

EXPORTING AND IMPORTING INVENTORY DATA

To download your inventory in an Excel file, navigate to the Inventory Summary page and click Download Inventory Data under the Import & Export section. You may import your inventory by clicking Import under this same section. 

It is no longer necessary to go through EH&S to import your inventory, but we can still import it for you if you prefer.

RECONCILIATION

Reconciliation applies only to barcoded/scanned inventories, and is a process done one year after an inventory has been barcoded/scanned (see Barcoding/Scanning above).

ADDING ROOMS

Adding new rooms to your lab must be done through Labs @ Berkeley (the new room will then be available both on LHAT and Chemicals). If you need to add a new room, ask your lab manager or owner to add the room, or email cheminv@berkeley.edu.

Glossary

Checkout - A process to temporarily relocate a container without changing its permanent location. For example:

  • A researcher needs to take a bottle from a storage shelf or cabinet in order to run a reaction, and they “check out” the container to let their coworkers know that the bottle is in their possession.
  • A researcher from another lab wants to borrow the container for a day to run a test reaction. The lab that owns the container “checks out” the container to keep track of who borrowed it.

Commercial Chemicals/Custom Chemicals - A chemical or a product that is commercially available from a vendor that is not already in our master library.

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

Inventory - A group of containers that belongs to an owner (PI or shop manager) in various rooms/locations. Most owners on campus will have just one inventory, but some owners will have more than one (e.g., a PI who has a research lab and also oversees an instructional lab). 

Novel Compounds - A chemical that is synthesized by a lab. This is not a chemical that can be bought.

Reassign Container (“Remap”) - A tool available on the container options menu that will reassign the container to a different substance. This is not a physical move or transference to a new owner.

Sharing vs Transferring - Sharing is a temporary status for a container and does not affect its permanent storage location. It is meant for very short term (hours to a few days at most). Transferring a container is a permanent move to a new storage location/owner. Contact cheminv@berkeley.edu if entire inventories need to be transferred to another group/owner.

Chemicals FAQs

Why does our lab's inventory in Chemicals show substances we didn't have in our inventory before?

When the data was migrated over from the former inventory system, CIS, some items were matched to incorrect substances. You may be seeing substances such as STRONTIUM TITANIUM DOUBLE METAL ALKOXIDECacodylic acid sodium salt trihydrate solution, 1.0M, pH 6.2, or others unfamiliar to you, show up in your inventory.

How do I get access to Chemicals?

If you work in a lab that uses hazardous chemicals, you can get access to the inventory by being added to your lab’s roster in Labs @ Berkeley (L@B). If you need access to a chemical inventory but are not working in a lab, contact cheminv@berkeley.edu to be manually added.

What do I include in my inventory in Chemicals?

You are encouraged to include all hazardous materials in your inventory so the information is readily available to emergency responders. All materials that are toxic, oxidizing, corrosive, reactive, carcinogenic, or flammable, as well as any liquids and gases under pressure, including liquid nitrogen tanks and compressed air cylinders, are required to be in Chemicals.