Skip to main content

Hazardous Chemicals and Radioactive Materials Purchasing & Tracking Program


Hazardous chemicals and radioactive materials are an integral part of our modern society and play a critical role in research and education at large research universities like UNM. The quantity of these materials on campus has increased significantly with the growth of research and teaching programs at UNM over the past decade. This growth has also increased the complexity of monitoring and disposing of hazardous chemical and radioactive waste. Furthermore, city, state, and federal regulations regarding these materials have also increased significantly.

We must all share in the responsibility of ensuring that our environment remains safe for our faculty, staff, and students. UNM's Department of Safety & Risk Services has the responsibility of tracking hazardous chemical purchases and radioactive material purchases. This policy attempts to make the tracking process viable and as easy for the users to comply with as possible.



  • To ensure that personal health and safety issues are being addressed at the point of use, such as proper training for individuals that work with these substances, appropriate use of personal protective equipment, presence of a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), adequate ventilation, safe storage, and proper labeling.
  • To ensure that environmental health issues are being addressed at the point of use, such as proper treatment, storage, transportation, and disposal of the hazardous chemical or radioactive material when it becomes a waste and to access information that qualifies, quantifies, and locates the hazardous chemical waste or radioactive waste on campus for regulatory reporting purposes. Also, to ensure that proper training is being completed for individuals involved in the treatment or disposal of hazardous chemical wastes and radioactive waste.
  • To ensure that emergency response and public safety issues are being addressed such as required reporting to the Local Emergency Response Commission on the storage quantities, location, container types, health and safety hazards, and temperatures and pressures of certain hazardous materials for transportation and to ensure that manifesting, packaging, and other issues are being addressed when hazardous chemicals are being transported on and off campus.
  • To determine if a surplus of a particular chemical exist on campus that could be provided at reduced cost or no cost by another department or by Safety & Risk Services.
  • To determine if a substitute can be used that is less hazardous and more environmentally friendly.


Hazardous Chemicals and Radioactive Materials Covered by this Program

Hazardous Chemicals:

Any chemical or product that has one or more hazardous substances listed in the "Hazardous Ingredients" section of the chemical manufacturer's or distributor's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Also included in this definition are chemicals such as paints, solvents, adhesives, lubricants, welding rods, explosives, acids, bases, and cleaning products that do not meet the following exemption:

Exempt from this program are pharmaceuticals, proteins, enzymes, and other similar biological materials that contain no hazardous chemical component. Also exempt are household chemicals used in a manner and quantity consistent with household use.

Radioactive Materials:

Any radioactive material, including those that are naturally-occurring (NORM).

Radioactive materials will only be purchased by following the procedures listed in UNM's Radiation Safety Manual. Radioactive materials can only be purchased by a Permit Holder who obtains a Radioactive Materials Authorization Code from the HSC Radiation Safety Office.

Mathew Eden, Safety Specialist, (505)

UNM Radiation Safety 


All hazardous chemicals & radioactive materials must be recorded to allow the University to accomplish the goals listed in the previous sections. The Department of Safety & Risk Services needs the assistance of all Cardholders, Central Accounting, and the Purchasing Department to ensure the success of this program.

Please send your acquisition requests to the Chemical & Research Laboratory Supplier University Services.

ERM users please go to the ERM website for your chemical inventory management.

All direct purchases must be reported to SRS using the Form for Chemical Purchases.

If you have any questions please contact the Safety and Risk Services Department at (505)277-2753

Safety & Risk Services

UNM Radiation Safety