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CAS No. 7664-41-7

Ammonia (NH3) is found throughout the environment in the air, soil, and water, and in plants and animals, including humans. Ammonia is also found in many household and industrial cleaners. High levels of ammonia can irritate and burn the skin, mouth, throat, lungs, and eyes. Very high levels of ammonia can damage the lungs or cause death. Workers may be harmed from exposure to ammonia. The level of exposure depends upon dose, duration, and work being done.

Ammonia is used in many industries. Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to ammonia include the following:

  • Agricultural workers who use soil fertilizer
  • Industrial workers who manufacture fertilizers, rubber, nitric acid, urea, plastics, fibers, synthetic resin, solvents and other chemicals
  • Miners and metallurgic workers
  • Workers in petroleum refining
  • Workers who use a commercial refrigerant in food processing, produce ice, are near cold storage and de-icing operations.

NIOSH recommends that employers use Hierarchy of Controls to prevent injuries.  If you work in an industry that uses ammonia, please read chemical labels and the accompanying Safety Data Sheet for hazard information. Visit NIOSH’s page on Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace to learn more about controlling chemical workplace exposures.

The following resources provide information about occupational exposure to ammonia. Useful search terms for ammonia include “anhydrous ammonia,” “aqua ammonia,”and “aqueous ammonia.”

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