Developing a chemical and hazardous waste inventory system

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We describe the development of a chemical management information system (CMIS) that addresses the multiple requirements of university-based chemistry department. The CMIS is a web-based inventory-keeping software developed using PHP and MySQL that provides chemical information such as safety data sheets; tracks individual chemical bottles using a barcode system to monitor stock-levels, consumption, movement and expiration; complies with government regulations on controlled chemicals and hazardous chemical wastes; facilitates sharing of chemicals among different departments; and stores supplier information. It has four user levels with increasing functionality: students; faculty members and researchers; department heads and staff; and technicians and system administrator. Currently, the system manages over 11,000 chemical bottles of three departments in the university.