Ammonia Leaks Cause Hazards for Workers & Nearby Residents
Late last month, KTIV reported about an ammonia leak that occurred at a large egg operation in northeast Nebraska. A malfunctioning pressure release valve is believed to have been the culprit, causing the release of the hazardous gas. Fortunately, a worker sounded the alarm and workers were evacuated as a hazmat team responded to the scene.
Also last month, emergency crews responded to an ammonia leak at an ethanol plant in Wisconsin that sent one man to the hospital. A pressure relief valve is also thought to be the culprit in that incident.
Ammonia (NH3) is a chemical that is made by humans and is naturally found in the environment. It is comprised of one part nitrogen and three parts hydrogen. In the natural environment, ammonia is important to plants, animals and humans as a source of nitrogen and may be found in water, soil and air. Much of the naturally occurring ammonia in the environment comes from the breakdown of manure, dead plants and animals.
A large amount of ammonia is produced by humans for use as fertilizer. It is also used to manufacture synthetic fibers, plastics, explosives and other materials. In the home, a number of cleaning products contain ammonia in the form of ammonium ions.
“People may be exposed to ammonia through skin contact or by breathing air, eating food or drinking liquids that contain the chemical,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Ammonia has a strong odor that is irritating and even low levels of ammonia may harm some people with asthma and other conditions. Ammonia is also corrosive and the main toxic effects are usually restricted to the sites of direct contact such as the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, mouth and digestive tract. It can be fatal at high concentrations. EMSL provides a variety of testing methods to determine the presence of ammonia to prevent exposure to this potentially dangerous chemical.”
EMSL has recently sponsored a video about ammonia and exposure risks that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/JX6wPV4JHJ4.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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- Contact Information
- Joe Frasca
- Senior Vice President of Marketing
- EMSL Analytical, Inc.
- (1) (856) 303-2503
- Contact via E-mail
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