University of Washington employees who use chemicals or chemical containing products at any UW owned
or leased facility must maintain chemical inventories in MyChem, the University of Washington's campus-wide chemical tracking system.
MyChem is designed for emergency planning efforts and helps faculty and staff comply with federal, state, and local hazardous material
regulations such as Fire Department Hazardous Material Storage and Use Permits (occupancy permits), Hazard Communication,
EPA Community Right-To-Know reporting, and the Department of Homeland Security Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard.
MyChem also contains a central Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) library. MSDSs provide an overview of the hazards of chemical. All employees should be able to readily access an MSDS
for any chemical they are using.
Access to MyChem
To access MyChem, click on the MyChem logo below and log in using your UWNetID and password.
When logged into MyChem, if there are no locations appearing when you click on My Inventory, ask your supervisor or other inventory contacts to add you as a contact to the inventories. If the PI or Supervisor has not been set up in MyChem, use this form to setup access now.
If you have questions, see the MyChem User's Guide on the MyChem website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call EH&S at 206.616.4046.
Classroom computer training is available to groups upon request. Please call 206.543.7201 to request classroom training.
Conducting your Chemical Inventory
First, use the inventory worksheet in the MyChem Guide (accessible in MyChem) to gather information, including chemical name, manufacturer, container size and type and physical state. Then enter your inventory into MyChem. It's important to understand that when you enter your inventory in MyChem, you are first checking to see if the chemical is already in MyChem. If it is, its MSDS and hazard information are already available and you can enter the chemical. If not, you can still enter it by hand, but you then probably need to request that the MSDS for that chemical be entered into MyChem so that it can get linked to your chemical.
Chemicals can be flagged in inventory entry to advertise availability in the Chemical Exchange.
Review and update inventories and contacts annually and whenever there are significant changes in inventory due to new processes or similar. Inventories and contact information are shared with local police and fire departments for use during emergencies.
The Chemical Exchange allows you to quickly search for surplus chemicals and advertise usable surplus chemicals online. One study found that unwanted chemicals account for up to 40% of all hazardous waste at universities.
Click here for more information about the Chemical Exchange.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) are documents that describe the physical and health hazards of chemicals or chemical containing products. MSDSs must be available to all UW employees and are centralized in MyChem. There are approximately 450,000 MSDSs online, searchable by product name, vendor name, chemical abstract service number, vendor product number, and by synonym name.
Access the MSDS collection now with your UWNetID. If you don't have a UWNetID, obtain one here.
EH&S recommends that supervisors maintain paper copies of MSDSs for the hazardous chemicals most likely to spill and/or cause injury to someone. Having an MSDS immediately available when someone has been exposed to a hazardous chemical helps emergency personnel decide how to respond and treat that person.
Call EH&S at 206.616.3441 during normal business hours for assistance with locating MSDSs. After business hours, contact the UWPD at 206.685.8973; UWPD will contact an EH&S representative.
A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) generated in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals provides similar information to an MSDS and is an acceptable alternative to an MSDS.
If an MSDS or SDS is received with a chemical or product shipment, please maintain a copy. Send the original MSDS or SDS to EH&S (Box 354110, c/o MSDS Coordinator) for addition to the MyChem database.
For more questions about MyChem, call 206.616.4046 or send an email to email@example.com.