Anhydrous Ammonia and the Effects To Land and Us

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     Anhydrous Ammonia and the Effects To Land and Us

   Many people know that Anhydrous Ammonia is being used to fertilize crops, but do you know of the hazards are caused by doing so. In the early 20th century, the Haber-Bosch process was developed, to combine nitrogen from the air with hydrogen at high temperature and pressure to make anhydrous ammonia (NH3), the basis for all synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, as well as munitions used in warfare. The hydrogen source for the process is natural gas, a non-renewable resource that currently accounts for 80 to 90 percent of the cost of fertilizer production.

   The energy consumed to make synthetic nitrogen for U.S. farmers for one year (13.1 million tons) would heat about 5.5 million Midwestern homes all year long.Twelve years ago, the U.S. was the world’s largest exporter of N fertilizer; now we are the largest importer. More than half the nitrogen our farmers now use comes from places like Trinidad, Russia, and the Persian Gulf, where natural gas is cheaper than in the U.S.

   Synthetic nitrogen fertilizer became popular in the U.S. after World War II when large stocks of  leftover ammonium nitrate munitions were marketed for agricultural use. Synthetic fertilizers are banned from USDA’s organic production standards, but are used in conventional food production on a massive scale. The run off goes into waterways, where it creates massive “algal blooms.” This starves the water of oxygen, suffocating fish and other aquatic life and creating huge “dead zones” in lakes and oceans.

   Runoff nitrogen also leaches into groundwater, contaminating drinking water and creating widespread health hazards.  This gets into the bloodstream where they attach to hemoglobin molecules, reducing their ability to carry oxygen and starving the body of oxygen. High levels of nitrates and nitrites were found in 25,000 community wells that provided drinking water to two thirds of the nation’s population. Nitrate-contaminated water is also linked to reproductive problems, urinary and kidney disorders, and bladder and ovarian cancer.

   Applying fertilizer releases oxidized nitrates, which contribute to the formation of smog, act as greenhouse gases, and destroy protective ozone. Nitrogen oxides also react with water in the atmosphere to form acid rain. Since heavy use of synthetic fertilizers began in the 1940s, 4.7 billion acres of soil have been significantly degraded worldwide. Low soil fertility and high rates of erosion lead to poor crop yields, land abandonment, and deforestation. Degraded soil lacks trace nutrients that make a food nutritious.

AMMONIA SOLUTION (UN 3318); AMMONIA, ANHYDROUS (UN 1005) : Lung Damaging Agent

   Inhalation HazardIf this was SO safe for us to breath in or have in our water, then why would the CDC state ammonia is a toxic gas or liquid that, when concentrated, is corrosive to tissues upon contact. One of the highest production-volume chemicals in the U.S., concentrated ammonia is used in manufacturing, refrigeration, and agriculture (as a fertilizer). In order to use this, they require that you use the following: a NIOSH-certified CBRN full-face-piece SCBA operated in a pressure-demand mode or a pressure-demand supplied air hose respirator with an auxiliary escape bottle; a Totally-Encapsulating Chemical Protective (TECP) suit that provides protection against CBRN agents;   Chemical-resistant gloves (outer); Chemical-resistant gloves (inner); Chemical-resistant boots with a steel toe and shank; and coveralls, long underwear, and a hard hat worn under the TECP suit are optional items.

   Included in this information is the explosion hazards. When ammonia mixes with gas and/or air it forms an explosive mixture; lower explosive (flammable) limit in air (LEL), 15%; upper explosive (flammable) limit in air (UEL), 28%; containers may explode when heated; and ruptured cylinders may rocket. When compressed liquified ammonia gas initially escapes a cylinder and comes into contact with moisture in the air it will form an ammonia fog. This fog is likeley to remain low to the ground, and could prevent ammonia gas from rising in the air. Dangerous concentrations of ammonia gas will occur quickly in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces.

   So if you still think this is SAFE to use or be around, here is a list of side effects from this DEADLY product, and like many other “products” used, there is no antidote if you encounter ammonia toxicity.

Severe irritant of the eyes, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and skin. It reacts with the moisture in the moist linings of body passages and cavities (mucous membranes) to produce an alkaline solution, ammonium hydroxide.
Mild to moderate: Rapid eye irritation and burning sensation.
Severe: Severe corrosive eye injury, inflammation of the membranes of the eye (conjunctivitis), tear production (lacrimation), swelling and sloughing of the surface cells of the eye, and temporary or permanent blindness.
Mild to moderate: Nausea, vomiting (emesis), abdominal pain, burns of mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach.
Severe: Swelling of lips, mouth, and voice box (larynx), severe corrosive damage or burns of mouth, throat and stomach.
Mild to moderate: Nausea, vomiting (emesis), abdominal pain, and burns of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach.
 Severe: Swelling of the lips, mouth, and voice box (larynx) and severe corrosive damage or burns to the mouth, throat, and stomach.
Mild to moderate: Irritation, swelling, and mild or stinging pain.
Severe: Pain, inflammation, blistering (vesication), tissue death (necrosis), and deep penetrating burns, especially on moist skin areas.
Exposure to liquefied ammonia gas may cause frostbite injury and possibly severe burns with more localized deep tissue damage (ulcerations).

    With all of this information readily available to the public, one must think why is this not being spoken about. There is a reason, for it THEY chose to announce this to everyone, WE would speak out and deman it to be STOPPED. Thus, they would not be able to push THEIR chemicals on us without our knowledge. No longer would individuals want to buy food that weren’t ORGANIC and THEY lose money.  On Jan. 18th, 2002, 30 cars of a Canadian Pacific train derailed west of  Minot, North Dakota, spilling hazardous materials.

Train derailment kills one, sends ammonia cloud over Minot

   These tanker cars were carrying anhydrous ammonia had ruptured, releasing a cloud of caustic, poisonous gas over the city. The gas killed at least one person, and injured around a hundred more. Soon after the derailment, a large area around the derailed train was evacuated, and residents in the remainder of the city were told to stay indoors. Residents were told to close doors and windows, boil water and cover their faces with wet cloths to counteract the ammonia. Emergency warning systems throughout Minot at the time were inoperable or failed,  no formal emergency warnings were issued for several hours.

   Cleanup operations began around 24 hours after the wreck, CP removed ammonia-contaminated ice from the Souris River to avoid further environmental damage. As like many other lawsuits involving THEIR chemical, after the disaster, CP opened a claims office in Minot to avoid a larger lawsuit. Residents were offered several hundred dollars as a settlement, waiving their rights to pursue a claim in court. THEY WERE PAID OFF TO SHUT UP!
Tyson Foods Pays $4 Million To Settle Complaint Over Worker Exposure To Ammonia

The WEST Fertilizer Company & their LAWSUIT against MONSANTO

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