Chemtracker Inventory Management System-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Chemtracker Inventory Management System

ChemTracker Version 4 **New** 

Chemtracker Version 1

ChemTracker Version 4 **New** 

ChemTracker software has been updated!  Version 4 includes a cleaner interface, better search functions and the ability to enter chemicals using the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number.  Gone is the “Find Values” function; database lookup is now automatic once two characters have been entered!  Users can save multiple searches and chemical addition templates, view summaries of search results and manage modification of multiple containers at one time.  Version 4 is simply a new way of accessing and managing chemical inventory that is already in the ChemTracker Database, and it improves the adding of new chemicals.  The chemical data is the same as Version 1; it just now has a better interface.

Chemtracker Version 1

System Requirements

Instructions for first time users

How to run a Query

How to Modify or Delete Records

How to Add Records

To Move, Copy or Delete Large Sets of Data

To Get Health and Safety Information from Chemtracker

What To Include In Your Hazardous Materials Inventory


Carnegie Mellon University uses the Chemtracker Chemical Inventory Management System. Authorized users will access their chemical inventory to make changes, corrections and updates, prepare inventory reports and obtain safety information on their chemicals, all from this system.

Regular use and updating of your chemical inventory is an essential part of the university’s efforts to comply with various OSHA and EPA regulations as well as to provide critical information to emergency responders entering an area where hazardous chemicals are present. 

Ø Please read this page thoroughly if you:

o Are new to Chemtracker

o Are having a problem with using Chemtracker

o Have any question about what you and Chemtracker can do

Ø If you are already familiar with Chemtracker, click here to go directly to the database:

System Requirements

The Necessary Tools:

You will need either Netscape Communicator 4.5, Netscape Navigator 4.08, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or later versions installed on your computer. The application will work on either Mac or PC, though PC is recommended. You will also need Adobe Acrobat 3.0 or higher to run and print some of the reports that are available.


In order to ensure the privacy of our chemical inventories, entry to the inventory system and to any particular chemical inventory is strictly limited. All chemicals on campus belong to a CHEMICAL OWNER who is responsible for them, and only those owners can approve a person to be a USER and to have access to their inventory. [Okay, there is one exception: Carnegie Mellon EH&S has access to all inventories, for emergency response purposes.]

A Special Note:

The Chemtracker system makes extensive use of validation tables. Therefore, in some browser/ platform environments it is necessary to “tell” the system you are ready for the next step by hitting the tab key, or clicking the mouse button outside of the field in which you are entering data. This action tells the system that you are done entering information in the field and that it should validate what you have entered. This is particularly important when you go to save a record, because the save action will not execute until the validation step is complete.

  •  Macintosh users must use the mouse to advance the cursor and may need to click the FIND VALUES button to validate data.
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Chemtracker Instructions

First things first:

If you have never been into Chemtracker before, you will need to become a Chemtracker USER.  To do this, you will need to send an email to one of our adminstrators (see the callout box on the right). Please provide your name, Andrew user ID, campus phone number and the name of the Principal Investigator, Lead Researcher or Chemical owner for your laboratory or work area. This person must approve you to have access to his or her inventory. Once you have been “created” as a USER, you will be provided with a temporary password for entry. You must change this password after you first enter, to one of your own choosing. Remember, you will only be able to access the inventories of the Chemical Owner(s) you have been approved for.

To Log-in:

Launch Netscape (4.5) or Internet Explorer (5.0) or later version. Refresh yourself on the instructions if you need. Click on the ‘Chemtracker – Chemical Inventory Database’ link. Enter your Andrew User name and you Chemtracker password in the USER ID field and the PASSWORD field.

It doesn’t work? There are three possible problems: 

  1. You forgot your password or got it wrong. Click on the link that will email you your password. The response is very quick on this.
  2. You are using the wrong USER ID. You must use your ANDREW USER ID, which may not necessarily be the same as your email name. Contact EH&S (8-3221) to confirm your ANDREW ID if you can’t find it otherwise.
  3. You are not an approved USER for Chemtracker. Only approved users may enter the Chemtracker system. To become one, see First things first, above.

To Log Out:

Click the red Logout button in the upper right corner of the screen to logout and close the window when prompted. There is Help and documentation available by clicking on any of the Help or Documentation buttons that you see as you proceed.

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To Run an Inventory Query:

There are a wide variety of search options available in the Chemtracker system. There are two that are typically done.

  1. Most people want to have a current, alphabetized listing of a room’s chemical inventory handy. Follow these steps to do this:
    1. If you aren’t already there, click on the Inventory tab. You will be at the QUERY SEARCH CRITERIA screen.
    2. Enter the Chemical Owner’s name in the space provided (you only need the first few letters and then hit the tab).
    3. Select the Chemical Owner’s name from the options provided. 
    4. Enter the room number. If you have the wrong room, you won’t be able to proceed. Go back and try hitting FIND VALUES while in the room number box to get a list of the rooms you can access.
    5. With that done, go to the SORT BY box in the blue bar. Select CHEMICAL. This will alphabetize the list of chemicals you are about to generate. Trust me, if you have a lot of chemicals, you will want them sorted.
    6. Hit RUN QUERY. You will get an alphabetized listing of all chemicals in the room, in the space on the left. Details of each item appear on the right, as you highlight each chemical in the list on the left. The details include amount, state, locations, etc. 
    7.  If you want a printed copy of the inventory, go to the INVENTORY REPORTS link under the list of chemicals on the left. Click this and then select a report style (I suggest CHEMICAL NAME UPDATE REPORT for the alphabetical listing of your items.)
    8.  It’s a good idea at this point to save the query for future reference. Do this by hitting SAVE QUERY on the blue bar above the inventory detail. 
    9. You will be asked to name the query. (Name it with the building and room number--that works best.) From now on, this query will be saved and will appear whenever you get to the query screen. For future visits, just highlight your saved query, hit RUN QUERY and there you are! It will save you going through this process every time and it will also update itself as you amend your inventory in the future.
  2. The other common query is to find a particular chemical in your inventory. You can do this by running the saved query from above. Since it is alphabetized, you should be able to locate your material (or not, if you don’t have it!) right away. If you have multiple rooms or labs, you can make a query to search them all for your material, following these steps:
    1. Go to the inventory tab and the QUERY SEARCH CRITERIA page.
    2. Enter your PI, researcher or chemical owner like you did above under “A”.
    3. Enter the chemical name under (surprise!) CHEMICAL NAME
    4. Hit RUN QUERY. If its there, you will find it, along with the room and area it is in. You will NOT be able to look for the chemical yourself in other researcher’s inventories, though EH&S will do this under certain circumstances to facilitate sharing of chemicals.

Now that you’ve done those two searches, you should be familiar enough with how the system works to try some other queries. Remember that you can print any query (or report) following the same instructions as for printing the full inventory query, provided above. For example, you can query all chemicals that are liquids, all that are stored in a certain shelf, etc.

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To Modify or Delete Inventory Records:

Most routine inventory activity consists of modifying the amount of a chemical item or deleting or adding records. 

  1. For modifying or deleting records, you can start from your saved inventory query or you can just look up a particular item.
  2.  To change the amount, or location of a material, just change the information in the record, tab out of the space to validate the entry, and hit SAVE CHANGES.
  3. To delete a record, look up the material record like you did above and click DELETE RECORD.
  4. That’s all!
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To Add Inventory Records:

  1. Click on ADD at the far left blue menu bar in the top frame. This will take you to the ADD screen.
  2. Valid information must be put in the fields marked with red arrows in order to save a new record.
  3. Enter information for all fields marked with red arrows. Chemical owner, department, building, room, physical state*, and unit of measure** will all be validated (i.e., matched to a value already in the system to avoid duplicates). Chemical name is not a validated item, though you should avoid using abbreviations. 
  4. VERY HELPFUL TIP: It is a good idea to enter Chemical owner, department, building, room and click on SAVE DEFAULTS on the blue menu bar in the top frame. This will keep all of these values filled in for future records and sessions, and you will not have to enter them in each time.
    ANOTHER HELPFUL TIP: For many chemicals, the system will auto populate the chemical name and physical state if the manufacturer and product number (catalog number) is entered. (Not available for all manufacturers or products.)
  5. Click on the ADD RECORD button on the blue menu bar in the top frame, or if you have more than one container of exactly this item, click on ADD MULTIPLE RECORDS and enter the number of identical records you want to create, in the resulting window.

* Type in S (solid), L (liquid) or G (gas) here.

** Only these units of measure are valid for entry here:

Valid Units of Measure:




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To Move, Copy or Delete Large Sets of Data:

Contact EH&S if you need to do this. We can do this fairly quickly. Trust me, its better in the long run!

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To Get Health and Safety Information from Chemtracker:

Yes, you CAN get health and safety information about your inventory items from Chemtracker. When you run any query, highlight the chemical you wish the information on. Select the SAFETY INFO icon and you will get safety and health information on the item. The MSDS icon will take you to the Carnegie Mellon EH&S MSDS page directly.

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All chemicals and chemical products (except those listed at right). Typical examples are:

  • Compressed gases (including liquefied gases)
  • Flammable/ combustible liquids (i.e., alcohols, solvents, lubricants, paints)
  • Flammable solids (i.e., magnesium, sodium, organo-metallics)
  • Oxidizers (i.e., concentrated mineral acids, bromates, chlorates, permanganates)
  • Organic peroxides (i.e., hydrogen peroxide (>8%), benzoyl peroxide)
  • Poisons not included in the above categories, i.e.,:
    • biological toxins
    • dyes, adhesives, etc.
    • specimen solutions
  • Corrosives (acids, bases and other materials which are corrosive to the skin)
  • Controlled substances (DEA listed)

If its not on the DO NOT INCLUDE list and has any sort of hazard associated with it, go ahead and put it in the inventory.


  • Retail products used for routine household-like activities (e.g. cleansers, dish soap)
  • Materials to be expended within 1-2 days (e.g., working solutions)
  • Radioactive materials
  • Biohazardous materials
  • Non-hazardous buffers
  • Growth media
  • Enzyme preparations
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See the callout box on the right to email or call 8-3221 for ANY Chemtracker related question

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version 4
  • You must use this link to access CMU’s ChemTracker v4 database.  
  • Be sure to bookmark it; add it to your desktop or browser toolbar for easy access
  • Your user ID and password are the same as you currently use for Version 1.  If you need to have the password reset, please contact Michael Patrick at

To help you become comfortable using ChemTracker Version 4, New User Introduction classes are available at CMU.  

Version 4

Join our d-list to stay informed about Chemtracker updates and issues.

User Distribution List


Version 1

ChemTracker is down for maintenance every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 PM to 12 AM (Eastern time).


Office: FMSB 3rd Floor
Phone: (412) 268-3221
Contact: Michael Patrick

Office: MI 313
Phone: (412) 268-1493
Contact: Mark Banister


Do you have a suggestion or question regarding environmental, health or safety issues at Carnegie Mellon University?  Use our electronic Suggestion Box by clicking here.

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