Skip to main content

Chemical Inventory

Why keep an Inventory?

As specified in the Chemical Hygiene Plan Template, inventories must be maintained for all hazardous chemicals. Hazardous chemicals include chemicals for which there is statistically significant evidence of health effects following exposure as well as flammable and explosive substances.

There are numerous benefits to keeping an inventory: potentially significant cost savings, knowing what is on hand and where to find it, ease of reporting on regulated chemicals and assisting emergency responders. In addition, the environmental benefits can be significant if fewer chemicals are purchased resulting in less hazardous waste generated.

Save Money and Time Using a Chemical Inventory:

There are many benefits of a chemical inventory, including, but not limited to:

  • Saving money and space by reducing or completely eliminating unnecessary purchases
  • Saving time by maintaining stock at an appropriate level (Don’t run out, but don’t buy too much)
  • Increasing efficiency by making chemicals easy to locate
  • Knowing when to remove old or expired chemicals
  • Identifying chemicals with specific shelf life and specific storage requirements
  • Getting your lab up and running again quickly after an emergency.  By helping emergency response personnel, including the Fire Department, make crucial decisions about your lab based on chemical information, delays in response to serious spills or fires will be minimized.
  • Sharing and viewing other shared chemicals within your department

Keep MIT Green and in Regulatory Compliance:

Help keep MIT green and in compliance with regulatory requirements. With a chemical inventory, less over-purchasing will lead to less chemical waste. This will save MIT and your lab money as well as keep MIT a leader in environmental stewardship.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published chemical security rules on December 28, 2006 to prevent potential misuse of certain chemicals. There are currently 344 Chemicals of Interest listed in the draft version of Appendix A, many of which are used at MIT.

All facilities that have any of these chemicals in quantities greater than the Screening Threshold Quantity must complete a “Top-Screen”, which will be used to categorize these facilities into one of four tiers, with Tier I as the highest risk tier.

Which Chemicals Should be Inventoried?

The Chemical Inventory Overview help labs identify what chemicals should be inventoried, the minimum information required to track, and how often it should be updated.

Examples of Chemicals that should be included in your Chemical Inventory:

The following websites have lists of chemicals that must be included in the lab inventory. Note: these lists are not all-inclusive.

What You Need To Know To Get Started

Working with the EHS office and your Department EHS Coordinator, you and/or your lab can get trained on how to use the chemical inventory system provided by MIT (EHS Assistant) and decide the best implementation strategy for your lab. Contact your EHS Coordinator or email environment@mit.edu to schedule an in-lab demonstration. If you already have a well-maintained inventory in another platform, please feel free to contact EHS about migrating this inventory into EHSA as well.

Environmental Health & Safety Assistant

In January 2018, the EHS Office launched a six-month pilot project to test the features and functionality of a streamlined chemical inventory online application called EHS Assistant. During the pilot, more than 20 labs had their full chemical inventories uploaded to EHSA.  They then tested how effective the platform was in meeting their chemical inventory user expectations and needs. Based on positive user feedback, a full implementation of the inventory kicked off in July 2018. Since then, over 140 labs have adopted EHSA, with more coming on board every week!

Key Platform Features

EHSA offers an easy to use, streamlined user interface for quickly adding new chemicals.  Some other useful features include: the ability for labs to search within their department(s) for chemicals being shared by other labs, a button to search for SDS’s by chemical container and the ability to have full or partial inventory uploads at any time using its custom template (lab members can be trained to use this upload template feature – please also refer to the user guide about this at the bottom of the page).

Other EHS Assistant Features:

  • Fast system performance speed
  • Quick chemical additions using only required fields
  • Inventory reconciliation/verification check to ensure up-to-date delivery
  • Access to compatibility and storage information
  • Information on possible chemical substitutions
  • Ability to retrieve deleted or historical inventory
  • Customizable fields when viewing your inventory
  • Physical barcoding for easier inventory reconciliation/verification
  • On-campus/in-lab tech support

EHS Assistant Chemical Inventory – Guides and Templates

EHS Assistant Home Page. To log in, use your certificate authentication and password.

EHSA User Guides

Manuals/Training:

EHSA Template

For setting up and using EHSA inventory:

  1. Download the EHSA Excel Import Template.
  2. Develop chemical inventory by entering the information into the Excel import template.
  3. Email the completed inventory to the EHS office at environment@mit.edu. EHS will upload the inventory for your lab.
  4. If you would like to have the ability to upload your own templates, contact EHS Office. EHS will update your account authorization for you, as this is not given as a default permission.

EHS Assistant Excel Template

Why keep an Inventory?

As specified in the Chemical Hygiene Plan Template, inventories must be maintained for all hazardous chemicals. Hazardous chemicals include chemicals for which there is statistically significant evidence of health effects following exposure as well as flammable and explosive substances.

There are numerous benefits to keeping an inventory: potentially significant cost savings, knowing what is on hand and where to find it, ease of reporting on regulated chemicals and assisting emergency responders. In addition, the environmental benefits can be significant if fewer chemicals are purchased resulting in less hazardous waste generated.

Save Money and Time Using a Chemical Inventory:

There are many benefits of a chemical inventory, including, but not limited to:

  • Saving money and space by reducing or completely eliminating unnecessary purchases
  • Saving time by maintaining stock at an appropriate level (Don’t run out, but don’t buy too much)
  • Increasing efficiency by making chemicals easy to locate
  • Knowing when to remove old or expired chemicals
  • Identifying chemicals with specific shelf life and specific storage requirements
  • Getting your lab up and running again quickly after an emergency.  By helping emergency response personnel, including the Fire Department, make crucial decisions about your lab based on chemical information, delays in response to serious spills or fires will be minimized.
  • Sharing and viewing other shared chemicals within your department

Keep MIT Green and in Regulatory Compliance:

Help keep MIT green and in compliance with regulatory requirements. With a chemical inventory, less over-purchasing will lead to less chemical waste. This will save MIT and your lab money as well as keep MIT a leader in environmental stewardship.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published chemical security rules on December 28, 2006 to prevent potential misuse of certain chemicals. There are currently 344 Chemicals of Interest listed in the draft version of Appendix A, many of which are used at MIT.

All facilities that have any of these chemicals in quantities greater than the Screening Threshold Quantity must complete a “Top-Screen”, which will be used to categorize these facilities into one of four tiers, with Tier I as the highest risk tier.

Which Chemicals Should be Inventoried?

The Chemical Inventory Overview help labs identify what chemicals should be inventoried, the minimum information required to track, and how often it should be updated.

Examples of Chemicals that should be included in your Chemical Inventory:

The following websites have lists of chemicals that must be included in the lab inventory. Note: these lists are not all-inclusive.

What You Need To Know To Get Started

Working with the EHS office and your Department EHS Coordinator, you and/or your lab can get trained on how to use the chemical inventory system provided by MIT (EHS Assistant) and decide the best implementation strategy for your lab. Contact your EHS Coordinator or email environment@mit.edu to schedule an in-lab demonstration. If you already have a well-maintained inventory in another platform, please feel free to contact EHS about migrating this inventory into EHSA as well.

Environmental Health & Safety Assistant

In January 2018, the EHS Office launched a six-month pilot project to test the features and functionality of a streamlined chemical inventory online application called EHS Assistant. During the pilot, more than 20 labs had their full chemical inventories uploaded to EHSA.  They then tested how effective the platform was in meeting their chemical inventory user expectations and needs. Based on positive user feedback, a full implementation of the inventory kicked off in July 2018. Since then, over 140 labs have adopted EHSA, with more coming on board every week!

Key Platform Features

EHSA offers an easy to use, streamlined user interface for quickly adding new chemicals.  Some other useful features include: the ability for labs to search within their department(s) for chemicals being shared by other labs, a button to search for SDS’s by chemical container and the ability to have full or partial inventory uploads at any time using its custom template (lab members can be trained to use this upload template feature – please also refer to the user guide about this at the bottom of the page).

Other EHS Assistant Features:

  • Fast system performance speed
  • Quick chemical additions using only required fields
  • Inventory reconciliation/verification check to ensure up-to-date delivery
  • Access to compatibility and storage information
  • Information on possible chemical substitutions
  • Ability to retrieve deleted or historical inventory
  • Customizable fields when viewing your inventory
  • Physical barcoding for easier inventory reconciliation/verification
  • On-campus/in-lab tech support

EHS Assistant Chemical Inventory – Guides and Templates

EHS Assistant Home Page. To log in, use your certificate authentication and password.

EHSA User Guides

Manuals/Training:

EHSA Template

For setting up and using EHSA inventory:

  1. Download the EHSA Excel Import Template.
  2. Develop chemical inventory by entering the information into the Excel import template.
  3. Email the completed inventory to the EHS office at environment@mit.edu. EHS will upload the inventory for your lab.
  4. If you would like to have the ability to upload your own templates, contact EHS Office. EHS will update your account authorization for you, as this is not given as a default permission.

EHS Assistant Excel Template