Chemical Inventory

Maintaining accurate chemical inventories is a regulatory requirement and is essential to ensuring the safety of first responders who may need to enter UCSF buildings. At UCSF, Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible for maintaining accurate chemical inventories of all hazardous chemicals used in their laboratories.

Chemical inventories must be updated:

  • annually
  • when inventory significantly changes, and
  • when a new storage and use location is added

UC Chemicals

To assist PIs in maintaining an accurate chemical inventories, EH&S has introduced a user-friendly chemical inventory management system called UC Chemicals. UC Chemicals has both web browser and mobile app versions. The web browser version can be accessed MyAccess, or directly at The mobile app versions can be found on the Apple App Store and the Android Play Store.

Features of UC Chemicals inventory management system:
  • Allows easy tracking and maintenance of containers using a barcoding system. 
  • Inventories may be managed using a mobile app and/or a desktop web application.
  • The mobile app utilizes a mobile device’s camera to scan barcodes, avoiding the need to enter items manually.
  • The chemical library provides detailed chemical information including physical and chemical properties, structural information, hazard codes, and links to Safety Data Sheets.
  • The app allows users to define Sublocations for chemical storage areas (including shelves and cabinets), making it easier to find and track chemicals in an inventory.
  • The app enables users to create chemical networks with other PIs so that laboratories may easily share chemicals while still controlling access to inventories.

Getting Started Using UC Chemicals

To get started using UC chemicals, email [email protected]. EH&S will arrange a time to come out to your laboratory, train everyone on how to use the system, and set up your laboratory's UC Chemicals account.

Maintaining your chemical inventory

While EH&S provides support for the initial creation of chemical inventories and has a team tasked with performing quality control checks on existing inventories, laboratories are still responsible for maintaining their chemical inventories. EH&S strongly recommends that laboratories continuously update their inventories as new chemicals arrive and old chemicals are consumed/disposed. For additional information and guidance on best practices, please read this safety update.

Chemical inventory annual updates (a.k.a. inventory reconciliation)

Local regulations mandate that UCSF research laboratories perform a comprehensive review and update (or "reconciliation") of their chemical inventory at least once a year. A reconciliation of a chemical inventory includes the following steps:

  1. Addition of chemicals not currently in the UC Chemicals inventory.
  2. Verifying that chemicals in the inventory are physically present, and in the correct location.
  3. Removal of chemicals from the inventory that are no longer physically present in the laboratory.

Step 1 is best performed using the UC Chemicals mobile app. EH&S has made a number of barcode scanners available for loan - using these scanners simplifies steps 2 and 3. For more information on these scanners and how to borrow them, please review this safety update.

Additional Resources and How-to Guides

UC Chemicals Guide — App

UC Chemicals Guide — Web Browser

UC Chemicals Guide — Lab Moves

UC Chemicals Guide — Updating your inventory using a barcode scanner

UC Chemicals Cheat Sheet - for Lab Members

UC Chemicals Help Page [Log in using your UCSF credentials]

What to Include in Your Chemical Inventory

Safety Update - Managing Your Chemical Inventory

Safety Update - Barcode scanners available for loan

Folding and using inventory barcode stickers

UC Chemical Inventory Project

Video Tutorials:

Chemicals Demo

Scanning and Barcoding

Inventory Search

Sharing a Container

Borrowing a Chemical



If you have any additional questions, or need barcodes please email [email protected]