In soil or water, plants and microorganisms rapidly take up ammonia. After fertilizer containing ammonia is applied to soil, the amount of ammonia in that soil decreases to low levels in a few days. In the air, ammonia will last about 1 week.
What happens when you have high ammonia levels?
This disease affects how your brain works, because of excess toxins, or poisons, in your body. Your liver may not work properly if you have high levels of ammonia in your blood. But ammonia will build up in your body if you can't get rid of urea. This can sometimes happen if you have kidney or liver failure.
Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in air causes immediate burning of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract and can result in blindness, lung damage or death. Inhalation of lower concentrations can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation.
Breathing high concentrations of ammonia can cause fluid in the lungs to build up and possible lung damage. Exposure to high levels of ammonia can burn the eyes, skin, throat, and lungs. If you think your health has been affected by exposure to ammonia, contact your health care professional.
Risks. Ammonia gas is toxic in large concentrations for prolonged periods and can be fatal. Since smelling salts produce only a small amount of ammonia gas, no adverse health problems from their situational use have been reported. However, a high concentration of inhaled ammonia might burn the nasal or oral mucosa.
Children are most likely to be exposed to ammonia via household cleaners. Without adequate ventilation, the fumes these cleaners create can pose a danger. Household ammonia usually contains 5 to 10% ammonia diluted in water. Even this concentration can be enough to cause severe respiratory irritation.
Poisoning may occur if you breathe in ammonia. Poisoning may also occur if you swallow or touch products that contain very large amounts of ammonia. WARNING: Never mix ammonia with bleach. This causes the release of toxic chlorine gas, which can be deadly.
Urea is one of the waste products found in urine. It's a byproduct of the breakdown of protein and can be broken down further to ammonia in certain situations. Therefore, many conditions that result in concentrated urine can cause urine that smells like ammonia.
Cat and dog urine isn't just disgusting; it can harm your health. The dangers of animal urine aren't always obvious, though. In the case of large amounts of urine, your lungs could feel like they are burning. Inhalation of large quantities of ammonia causes immediate burning of the throat, respiratory tract and nose.
How likely is someone to die from ammonia? It is unlikely that someone would die from contact with ammonia unless exposed to a very high concentration of the chemical. The effects of ammonia will depend on the concentration of exposure, length of time and way the person is exposed.
Ammonia also is effective at breaking down household grime or stains from animal fats or vegetable oils, such as cooking grease and wine stains. Because ammonia evaporates quickly, it is commonly used in glass cleaning solutions to help avoid streaking.
Ammonia poisoning is currently impossible to cure however it can be prevented easily by first cycling the tank (see below). Treatments include immediately reducing the ammonia level through many small water changes. Once the ammonia is removed, the fish may recover if the damage is not too extensive.
Urine is normally sterile when produced in the kidney and stored in the bladder, but is likely to become non-sterile as it leaves the body. Urine is non-toxic, although it contains urea and other substances which can be toxic if they are not excreted and reach high concentrations in the body.
The Odor Threshold for ammonia has been documented in different studies as low as .04 ppm and as high as 57 ppm. The American Association of Railroads says most people can smell ammonia between 0.04 to 20 ppm. OSHA says the Odor Threshold is between 5 and 50 ppm.
Its major goal is to identify causes of cancer. IARC classifies arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds as “carcinogenic to humans”, based on evidence from human studies that it can cause cancer of the lung, bladder, and skin.
The harm caused by ammonia in water bodies is more serious, because it is very toxic to aquatic organisms. Low concentrations of ammonia in soil are natural and actually essential for plant nutrition. Exposure to ammonia at environmental concentrations is unlikely to have adverse effects on health.
Ammonia and the Haber process. Ammonia, NH3, is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen. It is a colourless gas with a choking smell, and a weak alkali that is very soluble in water. Ammonia is used to make fertilisers (as a source of nitrogen for plants), explosives, dyes, household cleaners and nylon.
Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in air causes immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract. This can cause bronchiolar and alveolar edema, and airway destruction resulting in respiratory distress or failure. Inhalation of lower concentrations can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation.
Ammonia is also used as a refrigerant gas, for purification of water supplies, and in the manufacture of plastics, explosives, textiles, pesticides, dyes and other chemicals. It is found in many household and industrial-strength cleaning solutions.
Your liver may not work properly if you have high levels of ammonia in your blood. Ammonia is a chemical made by bacteria in your intestines and your body's cells while you process protein. Your body treats ammonia as a waste product. But ammonia will build up in your body if you can't get rid of urea.
Ammonia is a typical weak base. Ammonia itself obviously doesn't contain hydroxide ions, but it reacts with water to produce ammonium ions and hydroxide ions. However, the reaction is reversible, and at any one time about 99% of the ammonia is still present as ammonia molecules.