Ammonia Again

Ammonia's No Good to Breathe

November 14, 2009

Chicago, Illinois

"Story by Sun-Times Media Wire, Posted on MyFoxChicago.com
Chicago - Twelve employees of the sprawling Dean’s Ice Cream plant southwest of Fabyan Parkway and Kirk Road suffered injuries not considered life-threatening late Thursday night during an ammonia leak inside the facility.

Batavia Fire Department Battalion Chief Randy Banker said paramedics took five of the workers to Delnor Hospital in Geneva for treatment of ammonia inhalation. The other seven employees were treated at the scene, he said.

Members of hazardous materials teams from eight neighboring agencies joined their counterparts from Batavia at the scene of the leak, at 1253 Kingsland Drive. No HAZMAT members, firefighters, paramedics or police officers were injured during the emergency."

Every time I read an ammonia MSDS sheet, I get the chills:

"CAUSES SEVERE RESPIRATORY TRACT, EYE AND SKIN BURNS.
HARMFUL IF INHALED.
MAY CAUSE TARGET ORGAN DAMAGE, BASED ON ANIMAL DATA.
CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE.

Do not puncture or incinerate container. Do not breathe gas. Do not get on skin or
clothing. May cause target organ damage, based on animal data. Use only with
adequate ventilation. Keep container closed. Do not get in eyes, on skin or on clothing.
Avoid breathing gas. Wash thoroughly after handling.

Target organs : May cause damage to the following organs: lungs, upper respiratory tract, skin, eyes."

Ammonia is in widespread usage throughout the US for a variety of applications. The worldwide market for ammonia is roughly120,000,000 tonnes, the Chineses manufacture rougly three to four times as that in the US.