Chemical Inventory Management Program


EH&S will start using new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) barcodes for chemical inventory purposes starting in October of 2018. Learn more about the RFID barcode process.

Chemical Inventory at a Glance

Program Contact

Luis Barthel-Rosa, Ph.D.
Manager, Chemical Management Services
University of Nevada, Reno
EH&S MS 328
Reno, NV 89557
Phone: (775) 327-2270

Chemical Inventory at the University of Nevada, Reno is maintained by Environmental Health and Safety staff. The inventory is maintained by the following methods:

  • EH&S staff regularly schedule visits to buildings and rooms where chemicals are used/stored to obtain a snap-shot of the chemicals present at that time. Most buildings are physically inventoried once per year.
  • EH&S staff identify chemical containing packages delivered to the University at Central Receiving on a daily basis and inventory them before they are delivered to the recipients.
  • Since 2004, chemicals inventoried by EH&S have had a unique seven digit bar code number sticker placed on the bottle to facilitate tracking and the physical inventory. Beginning in October 2018, all chemicals barcoded by EH&S will have a unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) flag-tag with an eight digit bar code number placed on the bottle to facilitate tracking and the physical inventory. Please see the RFID Barcodes page for more information. Note that some chemicals are inventoried, but not barcoded. For specifics please see the Items Inventoried section below.
  • All scientific research and teaching laboratories that use/store chemicals are included in the physical annual inventory.
  • Most non-lab areas, such as the Art department and Facilities Operations areas are also included in the physical inventory, although their inventories may be updated less frequently.

The physical inventory program started in 2004 and expanded in 2006 to include daily operations at Central Receiving (see provost announcement).

Regulatory Requirements

The EH&S department is responsible for maintaining certain operational permits and other local, state and federal regulations. The information from the EH&S campus chemical inventory is used to meet regulatory compliance for the following:

Inventory Software, ChemTracker

The EH&S department uses ChemTracker software to manage and store chemical inventory data.

  • ChemTracker is an online, host subscription based software package maintained by the EH&S department at Stanford University.
  • The ChemTracker database is secure and backed up regularly (see ChemTracker security statement).
  • The fees for UNR to access ChemTracker are paid for by Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Risk Management. Individual departments, labs, researchers wishing to use ChemTracker are not charged fees to access ChemTracker.

ChemTracker User Accounts

If you wish to view your chemical inventory on-line using ChemTracker, contact the Inventory Program Contact to have your user account created.

All user accounts are set up as read-only to allow you to view but not edit, add, or remove the inventory data.

  • Experience has shown that better data quality is achieved when the number of data entry users is limited.
  • You will be granted access to view only the inventory of the areas where you work; you will not be able to search the entire university inventory or see inventory of other faculty or laboratories (except by special agreed upon pre-arrangements).
  • Chemical inventory data is updated by EH&S staff at least once per year.
  • If you wish to have your inventory updated on a regular, on-going basis by adding all new incoming items and removing emptied items regularly EH&S will work with you to keep your inventory current. Contact the Inventory Program Contact for more information.

Accessing ChemTracker

  • ChemTracker Version 4:
    • Use Version 4 to:
      • Search and display your chemical inventory
      • Search by chemical name, building, room, or storage location or by UNR Barcode number
      • Display expired chemicals
      • Copy your inventory to MS excel spreadsheet
      • Change your password
      • Perform searches by hazards (e.g. peroxide forming chemicals, flammable, toxics, etc.)
      • Download your inventory to PDF reports
  • ChemTracker Version 1:
    • Administrative Use Only
  • Always contact the University Inventory Program Contact if you have any ChemTracker support issues or problems. Please do not contact Stanford ChemTracker directly
  • If you need a chemical that is not in your inventory and you would like to “borrow” small amounts, contact the Inventory Program Contact. EH&S can assist by possibly locating the chemical you need and someone willing to loan some to you.

Materials Inventoried

The table below lists the items that are, and are not generally inventoried by EH&S both during the physical inventory in buildings and at Central Receiving.
If something was excluded from your inventory, please contact the Inventory Program Contact.

Items Inventoried

  • All chemicals and chemical products obtained from commercial sources (including mixtures) - primary “parent“ containers
  • Long term storage or re-fillable containers such as re-fillable fire safety cans and plastic solvent jugs are inventoried but not always barcoded
  • All compressed and liquefied gases (including propane tanks)
  • Unregulated radioactive materials (Uranium, Thorium compounds)
  • Hazardous household chemicals (bleach, pesticides, herbicides)
  • Hazardous paints and spray paints may or may not be barcoded depending on quantity
  • Aerosol cans (WD-40, spray lubricants)
  • Refrigerants
  • Lubricants, fuels, and oils (motor oil, gasoline, vacuum pump oil)
  • Biological toxins
  • Biological specimen solutions (Ward safe, formaldehyde solutions)
  • Scintillation fluid

Items Generally Not Inventoried

  • Materials to be expended within 1-2 days (e.g., working solutions, solutions prepared in the lab, secondary containers)
  • Retail products used for routine household-like activities (e.g. cleansers, dish soap)
  • Regulated Radioactive materials
  • Chemicals obtained directly from laboratory synthesis*
  • DNA/RNA and/or kits*
  • Microorganisms*
  • Non-hazardous (physiological) buffers*
  • Microbiological Growth media (Agar, broths, cell growth media)*
  • Enzymes (any form)*

* Indicates optional items that are generally not inventoried but sometimes are depending on access or lack of recognition.
If something is not in your inventory that you would like added, contact the Inventory Program Contact.