Use Anhydrous Ammonia Safely

Anhydrous ammonia is used extensively by farmers as a fertilizer. Inadvertent release of anhydrous ammonia can cause blindness, lung disease, burns, and death.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently conducted a hazard assessment of anhydrous ammonia application equipment to evaluate the potential hazards of the equipment and common handling practices. The Institute convened a panel of individuals who were familiar with various processes and types of equipment used with anhydrous ammonia. The panel consisted of representatives from government, chemical processes firms, engineering professionals, trade associations, and farmers.

These important procedures for the safe use of anhydrous ammonia were identified:

  • Wear personal protective equipment
  • Always have an ample water supply
  • Inspect and replace hoses and valves as needed
  • Never fill a tank over 85 percent of capacity
  • Bleed off hose pressure before disconnecting
  • Stay clear of hose and valve openings
  • Follow regulations when using equipment
  • Have qualified technician repair tank
  • Use proper hitch, safety chains, and Slow Moving Vehicle sign when towing

Resource: "Farm Safe 2000," Summer 1993, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Note to editors: The University of Missouri developed fliers outlining these safe work practices. To obtain copies of the flyers, contact Dr. Willard Downs, 2-70 Agriculture Building, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.

Publication #: 28302563

Source: Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Provider: Ag Information Services -- News & Publications, Penn State
November 23, 1993
Document Number:

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