Huntington Beach, CA, October 29th, 2020
Earlier this year, a television news station published a report about a significant increase in calls to the California Poison Control hotline due to chemical exposures linked to an increase in cleaning and disinfecting associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically mentioned were the dangers of exposure to ammonia, especially if it is mixed with other cleaning chemicals that can create a hazardous gas known as chloramine.
Ammonia (NH3) is a chemical that is made by humans and is naturally found in the environment. It is comprised of one part nitrogen and three parts hydrogen. In the natural environment, ammonia is important to plants, animals and humans as a source of nitrogen and may be found in water, soil and air. Much of the naturally occurring ammonia in the environment comes from the breakdown of manure, dead plants and animals.
A significant amount of ammonia is produced by humans for use as fertilizer. It is also used as an industrial refrigerant and to manufacture synthetic fibers, plastics, explosives and other materials. In the home and workplace, a number of cleaning products contain ammonia in the form of ammonium ions.
“Ammonia exposure can occur by inhalation, skin contact and by eating food or drinking liquids that contain it,” said Joseph Frasca, LA Testing’s Senior Vice President of Marketing. “These exposures could occur in the home due to the use of cleaning chemicals and in industrial facilities that utilize ammonia for refrigeration or to manufacture products. It is an irritant and even low levels of ammonia may cause concern for some people with asthma and other health conditions. Ammonia is also corrosive and the main toxic effects are usually restricted to the sites of direct contact such as the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, mouth or digestive tract. Exposure to high enough concentrations can be fatal.”
LA Testing’s California laboratories offer environmental and industrial hygiene testing services and sampling supplies for ammonia and other chemicals. They have also sponsored an educational video about ammonia and exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/JX6wPV4JHJ4.
To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: : AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego and Ontario.