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Occupational Ammonia Exposures Result in Costly Fine for a Company in Washington

EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers testing services to detect the presence of ammonia and other airborne hazards to protect works and the public.

Seattle, WA – WEBWIRE

In March, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced it had fined a beverage company over $150k for exposing workers to ammonia leaks. The large fine was the result of multiple willful, serious and general workplace safety violations, according to the agency.

Ammonia is a manufactured chemical that is also 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 and animals 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 as an industrial refrigerant and to manufacture synthetic fibers, plastics, explosives and other materials. In the home, numerous cleaning products contain ammonia in the form of ammonium ions.

“Companies that manufacture ammonia, utilize it as an industrial refrigerant, or process it with other substances for use in manufacturing products need to protect their employees from exposure risks,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “This can occur by breathing it, skin contact, or by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. At low levels, ammonia is an irritant, but even low levels of exposure can cause concerns for some people with asthma and other health conditions. Exposure to high concentrations can be fatal. Ammonia is also corrosive with the main toxic effects usually restricted to the sites of direct contact, such as the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, mouth or digestive tract.”

To help protect workers and keep companies that manufacture or utilize ammonia in regulatory compliance, EMSL provides occupational and environmental testing, and all of the sampling supplies necessary. They have also sponsored a video about ammonia and exposure risks that can be seen at:

To learn more about testing for ammonia or other industrial hygiene, environmental, indoor air quality, health and safety services, please visit, email  or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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