What is it?
3D Model's of Ammonia (NH3) and Ammonium (NH4)
- In pure form, it is known as anhydrous ammonia and is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture).
- Ammonia has alkaline properties and is corrosive.
- Ammonia gas dissolves easily in water to form ammonium hydroxide, a caustic solution and weak base.
- Ammonia gas is easily compressed and forms a clear liquid under pressure.
- Ammonia is usually shipped as a compressed liquid in steel containers.
- Ammonia is not highly flammable, but containers of ammonia may explode when exposed to high heat.
Ammonia is irritating and corrosive. Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in air causes immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract. This can cause bronchiolar and alveolar edema, and airway destruction resulting in respiratory distress or failure. Inhalation of lower concentrations can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation. Ammonia's odor provides adequate early warning of its presence, but ammonia also causes olfactory fatigue or adaptation, reducing awareness of one's prolonged exposure at low concentrations.
Children exposed to the same concentrations of ammonia vapor as adults may receive a larger dose because they have greater lung surface area-to-body weight ratios and increased minute volumes-to-weight ratios. In addition, they may be exposed to higher concentrations than adults in the same location because of their shorter height and the higher concentrations of ammonia vapor initially found near the ground.
Skin or eye contact
Exposure to low concentrations of ammonia in air or solution may produce rapid skin or eye irritation. Higher concentrations of ammonia may cause severe injury and burns. Contact with concentrated ammonia solutions such as industrial cleaners may cause corrosive injury including skin burns, permanent eye damage or blindness. The full extent of eye injury may not be apparent for up to a week after the exposure. Contact with liquefied ammonia can also cause frostbite injury.
Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia from swallowing ammonia solution results in corrosive damage to the mouth, throat and stomach. Ingestion of ammonia does not normally result in systemic poisoning.
Appropriate uses for Ammonia & Ammonium
InfoPlease. http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/science/ammonia-uses.html (Jul 5, 2014)
Trish Popvitch, eHow. http://www.ehow.com/about_5336546_cleaning-products-contain-ammonia.html (Jul 6, 2014)
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.
Frank, Yahoo. https://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110603210535AA2kAZU (Jul5, 2014)
Healthy Child. http://healthychild.org/easy-steps/keep-ammonia-out-of-your-home/ (Jul 7, 2014)
New York State Department of Health http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/docs/ammonia_tech.pdf (Jul 7, 2014)