Introduction to Ammonia (NH3)
Ammonia (NH3) is a colorless gas with a characteristic pungent, suffocating odor. Widely used in industry and commerce, it is used in fertilizers, food processing, refrigerants, pharmaceuticals, and cleaning products. Ammonia also exists naturally in the environment, where it is produced from the decomposition of organic matter, including plants, animals, and animal waste.
Although it is widely used in different industries, ammonia is caustic and hazardous. The widespread use of ammonia in industrial and commercial locations increases the risk of exposure through accidental release. If the ammonia is under pressure, the gas will rapidly release into the air and quickly fill up an enclosed area. The release of Ammonia has the potential for harmful effects on workers and the public if it is not monitored correctly.
When present in high concentrations, ammonia may produce these symptoms:
- Nose, throat, respiratory irritation
- Chest tightness, pain
When researching NH3 gas detection solutions, facility managers should be aware of the following NH3 exposure limits:
|50 ppm TWA||OSHA PEL (General Industry)|
|50 ppm TWA||OSHA PEL (Maritime)|
|25 ppm TWA, 35 ppm STEL||ACGIH TLV|
|25 ppm TWA, 35 ppm STEL||NIOSH REL|
|300 ppm||NIOSH IDLH|