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.”
The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) helps workers, employers, and occupational health professionals recognize and control workplace chemical hazards.
The NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM) is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed.
- NIOSHTIC-2 search results for ammonia – NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable database of worker safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.
- Immediately Dangerous to LIfe or Health (IDLH) Value of ammonia– NIOSH reviews scientific data and researches methods for developing IDLH values.
- Emergency Response Safety and Health Database (ERSH-DB): Ammonia Solution (UN 3318); Ammonia Anhydrous (UN 1005) – The ERSH-DB provides emergency personnel responding to a terrorist event with accurate and concise information on high-priority chemical, biological and radiological agents that could be encountered.
- NIOSH Certified Equipment List for protections against ammonia
- NIOSH Criteria Documents: Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Ammonia
- NIOSH Guidelines for Chemical Hazards DHHS Publication No. 74-136 (1974) – Contains a standard for mitigation of exposure to ammonia to prevent adverse effects over a working lifetime.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Toxicological Profile for Ammonia
- ATSDR – ToxFAQs™: Ammonia
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs): Ammoniaexternal icon
- EPA Chemistry Dashboard: Ammoniaexternal icon
- EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS): Ammoniaexternal icon
- National AG Safety Database: Androus Ammonia Safetyexternal icon
- National Library of Medicine (NLM) Hazardous Substance Data Bank: Ammoniaexternal icon
- NLM Haz-Map: Ammoniaexternal icon
- NLM Medline Plus: Ammonia Poisoningexternal icon
- Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) Guideline for Ammonia pdf icon[PDF – 264 KB]
- OSHA Hazard Communicationexternal icon
- OSHA Safety and Health Topics: Ammonia Refrigerationexternal icon
- OSHA Safety and Health Topics: Anhydrous Ammoniaexternal icon
- New Jersey Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets: Ammoniapdf iconexternal icon
- European Chemical Agency(ECHA): Ammoniaexternal icon
- eCHEM Global Portal search results for ammoniaexternal icon
- International Labour Organization International Chemical Safety Cards:
- 0215external icon AMMONIUM HYDROXIDE (10%-35% solution) – (Aqua ammonia, Ammonium hydrate)
- 0414external icon AMMONIA (ANHYDROUS) – (R717, Refrigerant gas 717)
- 1051external icon AMMONIUM CHLORIDE – (Sal ammoniac)
- 1234external icon NITROGEN TRIFLUORIDE – (Nitrogen fluoride, Trifluoroamine, Trifluoroammonia, Perfluoroammonia)
- INCHEM Health and Safety Guide No. 37: Ammoniaexternal icon
- INCHEM Environmental Health Criteria 54: Ammoniaexternal icon
- German Social Accident Insurance GESTIS hazardous substances search resultsexternal icon