A chemicals inventory is a (simple or complex) database including all chemical substances and mixtures used in company. It is used to compile all relevant information on the identity, classification, storage, safe use of substances and mixtures. This information is either related to or complemented with data on the use of the substances in the company, e.g. for which products they are applied (as ingredient or processing chemical), at which workplaces they are used and/or what type(s) of waste they end up in. It is also helpful to link a (database/list) of suppliers to the individual substances or mixtures, potentially including prices/price ranges and/or rankings of the trustworthiness of suppliers.

Chemicals inventories are one of the cornerstones of good chemicals management practice. They allow structured and efficient assessment of chemical data, including to check compliance, prioritise substitution needs or identify lack of data on chemicals.

Chemical inventories provide several useful features for companies. They:

  • help are a framework structuring collection and organisation of information on hazardous chemicals;
  • support identifying lacking information, e.g. safety data sheets or regulatory requirements;
  • may be used to identify the most hazardous chemicals for which substitution or use reduction measures could be implemented;
  • can show if several different substances are used for the same purpose and hence highlight optimisation potentials
  • can provide information for the company's future strategies and development plans;
  • help for quickly finding information on a particular chemical, as all data is kept in one system.

There should be sufficient information to clearly identify substances that are being used and/or produced, their amounts, hazard information and handling conditions. The following sections should be included in a chemicals inventory (You can also use our Example template for keeping the chemicals inventory):

  • Name of the product – name of substance or mixture, as identified on the label, or in technical documentation (in safety data sheet, SDS). This can be a commercial name and the one most commonly used in internal communication within the company or between company and supplier/client.
  • Composition of the product – unambiguous identification of the hazardous components of mixtures (as specified in the Safety Data Sheet) including any pertaining numbers (e.g. registration and authorisation number, CAS number etc.). This section should also contain information on concentration range of the hazardous ingredients in the product.
  • Classification and hazard identification – hazard classification of each substance or component in mixtures according to the CLP Regulation as well as the classification of mixtures as such. It should include hazard class and relevant Hazard statements and Precautionary statements.
  • Use of the product – purpose of use (technological process, products it is included into etc.) of each chemical product and used amount in each process/product (each year)
  • Storage – information on storage method (container, what sort of packaging, etc.), amount (volume stored simultaneously) and storage location (warehouse, storage place identification number, etc.)