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Ammonia

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Overview

Ammonia is one of the most commonly produced industrial chemicals in the United States. It is used in industry and commerce, and also exists naturally in humans and in the environment. Ammonia is also produced naturally from decomposition of organic matter, including plants, animals, and animal wastes. In pure form, it is known as anhydrous ammonia.

Ammonia is irritating and corrosive. Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in air causes immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract. Ammonia's odor provides adequate early warning of its presence; its odor becomes less noticeable with prolonged exposure, though its adverse effects on health do not diminish. Ammonia can explode if released in an enclosed space with a source of ignition present, or if a vessel containing ammonia is exposed to fire.

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