hazards of ammonia

Hazards of ammonia are harmful to your safety and health. Beware of this chemical; while you are using it, on the road, warehouse, or any other places where you find this chemical.

Actually, ammonia is a very useful chemical. According to Potashcorp.com, the world’s ammonia consumption is increasing from year to year.

world ammonia consumption

Despite its usefulness, however, ammonia can potentially endanger your safety and health.

Read the stories below:

In November 2016, one man died after a gas ammonia leak at the Carlsberg factory site, Northhampton, England. Besides that, 20 other people were also hospitalized.

41 years ago, a truck with 7,500 gallons of anhydrous ammonia, lost control and crashed. This caused the tank ruptured and ammonia released. As a result, 6 people died and 178 were injured.

As you can see from the two above accident stories that ammonia leak effects can be deadly.

Besides poisoning, there are also other several hazards of ammonia you have to understand. Understanding of this information is very important.

And here they are.

10 Hazards of Ammonia

Besides understanding the hazards of ammonia, it is also important for you to know its physical and chemical properties. Please read the ammonia MSDS to get the information.

hazards of ammonia

Okay, here is the complete list of hazards of ammonia that you have to know:

  1. Ammonia is a very toxic chemical.
  2. Ammonia is corrosive to skin and eyes. It can cause blindness.
  3. Ammonia can harm your respiratory system if long-term exposure occurs.
  4. Ammonia can cause lung injury.
  5. In liquid form, ammonia can cause frostbite.
  6. At high temperatures, ammonia can decompose into a flammable gas, hydrogen, and toxic nitrogen dioxide.
  7. Ammonia is a flammable gas. At high concentration (more than 15%) in the air, it can be ignited easily and poses an explosion hazard.
  8. Beware of ammonia in a gas cylinder. Prevent the gas cylinder from heat since the pressure may build up.
  9. Repeated or prolonged exposure on the skin will cause dermatitis
  10. The autoignition of ammonia will occur at 650oC.
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What to Do in Case of Ammonia Leakage

According to ACGIH, TWA (Time-Weighted Average) and STEL (Short-Term Exposure Limit) values of ammonia are 25 ppm and 35 ppm.

At the concentration of 500 ppm, ammonia causes you to feel immediate and severe nose and throat irritation.

Difficult breathing will happen if you inhale ammonia at 1500 ppm or more.

So, if ammonia leak happens, do the following safety precautions:

  • report immediately about leak, spill, or safety equipment failure.
  • If there is an emergency alarm, push it to notify others about the leak or spill.
  • put on a respirator or self-contained breathing apparatus with a special cartridge that can filter the ammonia.
  • exit from the room or area. If the incident occurs on the road like the above story, run away from the leak or spill location. Run to oppose the site of the wind direction.

If you fail to do this, you will suffer ammonia gas poisoning.

Ideally, you have to have an ammonia leak emergency procedures to face such conditions. You need to test this procedure and review it regularly to make it works.

You can also use safety slogans to keep people aware of the hazards of ammonia.

For detecting ammonia leakage, it had better have an ammonia leak detector, like ANNMETER AN-5800G with detecting ability from 0-1000 ppm.