Preventative Maintenance

Ammonia Exposure Safety Tips

Having ammonia on-site can potentially be hazardous if it is not handled with caution. We recommend routine tank inspections and preventative maintenance for all ammonia applications. Airgas Specialty Products offers the best-in-class ammonia delivery, repairs, pump-outs, and service for all of your ammonia systems. Performed by technicians following the latest in PSM/RMP/OSHA safety guidelines, Airgas Specialty Products provides companies with a faster and more cost-effective solution to handling on-site ammonia equipment maintenance internally. Services include:

  • Pump-outs
  • Monthly maintenance
  • Technical questions
  • DeNOx design
  • Field service
  • Industrial refrigeration
  • Distillation
  • Ammonia monitoring
  • Field service

However, accidents and emergencies do happen, so here are some safety procedures in the event of an ammonia spillage or unexpected leakage occurrence. Ammonia is primarily used in two categories, manufacturing and households. Exposure to concentrated ammonia used in manufacturing (refrigerants and agriculture) can be more lethal than household products such as cleaners and sanitizers. A person’s odor threshold can detect ammonia in minimal exposure conditions, but the body can no longer distinguish ammonia through the sense of smell after prolonged exposure.

In most circumstances, exposure to ammonia is through the air from its’ gas vapors. In the event of an accident of a tanker truck roll-over, tank leakage, or system discharge, the best course of action is quickly moving away from the spillage area. If there is ammonia on your clothes, remove the clothes by cutting them off to prevent further contact, instead of removing it over the head in the circumstance of a shirt or sweater.  Put the clothes in a plastic bag and wait for instructions for proper disposal. If there is ammonia on your skin, quickly wash the ammonia away with large amounts of water and soap; for the eyes, use large amounts of water only. After taking care of yourself and being in a safe environment away from ammonia exposure, you should call emergency responders. One resource available is the National Response Center (NRC), staffed 24 hours a day.

The best precaution to ensure these events don’t happen is the ongoing maintenance of ammonia storage and handling systems is essential for safe and reliable ammonia use. Periodic, scheduled maintenance can minimize the need for system repairs and decrease the ammonia release probability. Airgas Specialty Products will, on a monthly basis, perform a multi-point maintenance program on your ammonia storage and handling system. Please contact 678-407-7508 for the detailed procedures included with this program.