NH3 Accidents (News Release)

In the rush to apply liquid fertilizer during the busy planting season, always take time for safety around anhydrous ammonia.

Each year, a number of Iowans are injured when they are exposed to anhydrous ammonia. According to records kept by the Iowa Department of Public Health, 55 people have been injured within the past three years from anhydrous ammonia. Of those injuries, 19 required hospitalization.

The most serious injuries include permanent loss of eyesight or third-degree burns when the liquid fertilizer comes in contact with skin, eyes, nose or mouth. Death also can occur if a large amount is inhaled.

Most of the recent accidents in Iowa that involved anhydrous ammonia occurred in driveways or fields as a result of equipment failure. This would include eruptions from a leaky hose, valve or nozzle. Some accidents occur while the operator fills the applicator tank, however, this is when protective gear is most likely to be worn.

For more information about how to be safe around anhydrous ammonia, read instructions that come from your chemical supplier or dealer. A new SAFE FARM publication, Play it Safe with Anhydrous Ammonia, Pm-1518d, also is available at local Extension offices. Single copies of the publication are free.

This news release was distributed by Iowa State University Extension as part of the Safe Farm Program. Safe Farm promotes health and safety in agriculture. It is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Iowa State University, and a network of groups that serve Iowa farm workers and their families. Distribution date: April 1993.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More