CEMS Chemical Inventory System Barcode

Three federal agencies (EPA, OSHA and the Department of Homeland Security) require that owners of hazardous chemicals maintain an accurate inventory of those materials.

At Connecticut College, purchasers of laboratory chemicals are responsible for maintaining that inventory by entering their chemicals into the “CEMS” Chemical Database, and for deleting empty containers. Below are step-by step instructions for adding and deleting chemicals from the database and accessing the associated Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

First, log into CEMS with your individual Sign-In Name and Password. This will bring you to the CEMS home page.


  1. From the main screen, click on "Add Inventory" in the menu bar.
  2. STEP 1 - IDENTIFY CHEMICAL: Locate the chemical within the CEMS database by entering the product number from the container label. Omit any dashes or spaces (Example: For T-1407, enter T1407), then click on "find matches."
  3. If the chemical is not found, enter the CAS number, also found (usually) on the label. Again, omit all dashes. (Example: CAS 620-08-6, enter 620086)
  4. If it is still not found in the system, enter the chemical name as it appears on the label.
  5. STEP 2 - ENTER CONTAINER INFORMATION: Find the chemical in the first drop down box. All other boxes should auto-populate, except for “Quantity” and “Container Type." Enter the quantity and container type, or populate from the respective drop-down boxes. If the chemical is not in the system, send an e-mail listing the barcode and product number of the chemical to the Director of EH&S. The Director of EH&S will obtain the missing information and MSDS from the manufacturer's web site.
  6. The “Is Hidden” box should be no.
  7. The “Is Opened” box should be either no or yes, depending on whether the container is open or not.
  8. In the “Memo” box, identify the storage location within the lab. (Example: FLAMMABLE CABINET 1, SHELF 2, or REFRIGERATOR, ON DOOR.)
  9. Select the “Owner” from the drop-down box.
  10. Select the “Location” from the drop-down box.
  11. Enter the CEMS Inventory barcode label number.
  12. Click on “Save Container.”

Note: If a chemical is not in the system, the MSDS will not be in the system either. If this is the case, click on "Skip Associate MSDS" when that page appears. The Director of EH&S will obtain and upload the appropriate MSDS.

DELETING CHEMICALS (Marking containers as "Empty")

  1. From the main screen, click on "Search Inventory" in the menu bar.
  2. Enter the barcode number of the container to be deleted. Click "Search."
  3. Click on the "mark empty" box.
  4. If multiple containers need to be deleted from the system, click on "Update Inventory" from the main screen. Follow the instructions for entering multiple barcode numbers to be updated.


Adobe Reader is required to view (most) MSDS in this database.

  1. The easiest way of obtaining the MSDS, is to enter the container's barcode number on the "Search Inventory" page.
  2. You can also search for a MSDS by entering the "Chemical Name," Product Number, Molecular Formula or CAS number, or browse by Manufacturer on the "MSDS Archive" page.
  3. To print, click the "printer" icon on your browser.