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| The Hazards and Dangers of Ammonium Nitrate|
What is Ammonium Nitrate?
Ammonium nitrate is an odorless, colorless or white, crystal salt produced by the reaction
of ammonia and nitric acid.
How is Ammonium Nitrate used?
Ammonium nitrate is an important component of many fertilizer mixtures. It provides a
source of nitrogen to plants, which increases growth and crop yields.
Small quantities of ammonium nitrate are also sold as an additive for mining explosives
and other nonagricultural uses.
What are the potential hazards?
Under normal handling conditions, ammonium nitrate is not harmful. However, inhalation
of high concentrations of ammonium nitrate dust can cause respiratory tract irritation.
Symptoms may include: coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, or even suffocation.
When swallowed in high concentrations, ammonium nitrate may cause headache, dizziness,
abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, weakness, a tingling sensation,
heart and circulation irregularities, convulsions, collapse, and suffocation.
Ammonium nitrate forms a mild acid when mixed with water.
This acid can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and skin.
Is Ammonium Nitrate flammable or explosive?
Ammonium nitrate rating is non flammable, a fire from ammonium nitrate is very unlikely,
but it is a strong oxidizing agent that can cause combustible materials
(such as wood, paper, and oil) to ignite. Only under extreme conditions of heat and
pressure in a confined space will ammonium nitrate explode.
Should such an incident occur, there may be a visible cloud of ammonia, carbon
dioxide and nitrogen oxides.