UC Davis is helping PIs and their staff maintain accurate chemical inventories and quickly reconcile them.

Photo of chemical bottles.
ChemTags are embedded with an RFID antennae for remote reading with a wand. Optical barcodes are also included.

ChemTag couples reliable Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology with the Risk and Safety Solutions (RSS) Chemicals application, to decrease the time it takes to locate chemicals and reconcile inventories from a few days to a few hours (at most).


Safety Services offers ChemTag barcodes to campus users at no cost and maintains an equipment library of scanners to support inventory reconciliations.

Contact chemtag@ucdavis.edu

Step-by-Step Guides

The .pdf guides below explain how to complete some of the most common functions in the Chemicals application. 

ChemTag FAQs

Below are answers to some of the most common questions about the project.

  • Are the tags solvent resistant?
  • Yes. These tags have a UV laminate that helps increase their resistance to chemical solvents.

  • Can the tags be affixed to containers in dessicators, fridges, glove boxes.
  • Yes, provided there is no condensation on the containers. We can offer ideas to help you efficiently tag these areas.

  • How accurate is the RFID scanning process? If I have 1500 chemicals in my inventory, what is the likelihood that the scanning process will miss some of those?
  • For a variety of reasons, the scanning process will likely never be 100%. However, we’ve been returning a 95%+ accuracy rate and individuals are then able to manually reconcile their inventory in hours – compared to what might have taken days before ChemTag. Though ChemTag might miss some containers during scanning, it’s incredibly precise, meaning it will not confuse one container with another.

  • What does implementing ChemTag cost my lab?
  • Nothing. EH&S is providing the supplies (ChemTags), training and temporary equipment loans at no cost to help labs more easily manage their chemical inventory.

  • What about tagging high throughput chemicals/items?
  • For chemical containers that are consumed and replaced regularly AND affixing a tag to the container would be too onerous to maintain, one workaround is to create a bulk tag by entering the typical amount on hand into the inventory as one item and affixing the ChemTag to the storage location.

    Example: Gas cylinder hooked up to a piece of equipment.