An Ammonia Plant Explosion Can Result In Severe Injuries Or Death

by Terry Bryant

The potential for an ammonia plant explosion is present in any industry utilizing the chemical during their production process. From the manufacturing of medical products to fertilizer and other agricultural materials, the harmful agent is frequently utilized throughout the country. More than 80% of the 100 million metric tons produced is within the agriculture and fertilizer industries.  Its three parts hydrogen and one part nitrogen creates a colorless, water free chemical that is light in volume with a pungent odor.

This dangerous chemical requires elevated temperatures and high pressure holding, making it more susceptible to causing an ammonia plant explosion. Despite storage in carefully engineered tanks, there is the possible risk when exterior temperatures increase. The heat overwhelms the compressed liquid causing increased temperatures, possible leakage, and other dangerous break downs. OSHA and the EPA have set forth standards to require companies to have exposure limits, gas monitoring, and a risk management plan in place.

Those working with or merely in the vicinity of the chemical are to be cautioned in regards to the risks they may face. Proper training and having a response system available lowers the risk of severe injuries and fatalities. The resulting damage is based upon the means of exposure, volume, and span of time.

When the gas enters a human body it mixes with water, damaging cells nearby. Light amounts of exposure can lead to minor respiratory irritation, coughing, nose and throat inflammation. Higher concentrations of the gas can cause life altering injuries and death. Disasters such as the Oklamhoma City bombing and the 2013 Texas fertilizer factory tragedy left behind a substantial amount of injuries and fatalities.  Many that have been exposed to this type of situation have sought the counsel of a personal injury lawyer.