Implementing a Campus-Wide, On-Line Chemical Inventorying System to Benefit Safety, Chemical Sharing, and Efficient Use of Chemical Resources

Linh Tran, Green Labs Program at Univeristy of Colorado-Boulder
Robert An, University of Colorado Boulder

This presentation focuses on the process that the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) is going through to implement a collaborative, managed, and online campus-wide chemical inventory system and workflow. By facilitating researchers' access to available chemicals in multiple labs across campus, the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Department at CU-Boulder expects this new inventory system to foster lab safety, help with safe disposal of chemicals, encourage collaboration between labs, and save research dollars by avoiding chemical duplication. Moreover, since EH&S inventory managers and technology system oversees the responsibility of maintaining the system and auditing the inventory, the workflow can save researcher time by helping scientists know what chemicals they have and where they are located on a campus-wide level through an online system. The presentation will include challenges faced and accomplishments. It will demonstrate the prospective outcomes of the workflow such as an online campus-wide sharing system of chemicals which will be managed through EH&S Department. One of the most important goals of this project is effective, efficient use of chemical resources. Considering that chemicals can be toxic, expensive assets to obtain and dispose of, efficient use of chemicals is the utmost importance for saving funding, benefiting research, and minimizing environmental footprint.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the campus-wide online chemical inventorying system that the EH&S Department at CU-Boulder has chosen.
  • Learn about how the EH&S Department at CU-Boulder is working to implement this system with a team of staff.
  • Learn about the challenges faced, accomplishments, and impacts that this system is already having on campus.
  • Learn about the potential benefits the system can bring to researchers once it has been implemented campus-wide.


Linh Tran is a student assistant of the CU Green Labs Program and the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Department at the Univ. of Colorado-Boulder since 2014. She is a senior in B.A Biochemistry and B.A Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology. While balancing between her schoolwork, her job at EH&S Department, the internship at CU Green Labs Program and other social volunteer positions, Linh also has more than 2 years of lab research experience as an undergraduate research assistant in an inorganic/organic synthesis lab. To Linh, researching has been a big part of her life. She is especially passionate about developing a sustainable research environment; an environment in which the researchers can save their funding, resources, and research time while promoting safety and lower the impact on the planet.

Robert An is a health and safety professional with over 6 years of experience working with various state and federal regulators, process and procedures within a university setting insuring that both overhead regulatory laws and institutional research freedom is maintained. Recently, Robert has built a chemical inventory tracking system that utilizes barcodes to gain audit efficiencies and accuracy significantly improving the workflow and burden on campus and its researchers. His goal is to improve campus security and improve communication between campus occupants with regards to the resources already available to them on campus.


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