Ammonia exposure may be common for those regularly using household cleaning products. Exposure injuries are likely to be mild, although chronic exposure can lead to serious health problems over time.
Aside from cleaning solutions, ammonia is a versatile chemical component of several industries in America, including agriculture and food processing. The widespread use of ammonia on farms and in industrial locations dictates that exposure can occur from an accidental release or from regular heavy usage.
Most people are exposed to ammonia from inhalation of the gas or vapors. Ammonia interacts with human tissue immediately upon contact with the skin, eyes, and most commonly the respiratory tract. Ammonia may cause mild irritation or it may lead to serious illness with heavy or chronic exposure in the workplace.
Ammonia is used as a refrigerant gas, for water purification, waste treatment, and in the manufacture of plastics, cosmetics, dyes, textiles, pesticides, rubber and other chemicals. It is found in many household cleaning solutions, although ammonia applications for industrial use are of more concern as concentrations of ammonia can be up to 25 percent, and are highly toxic and corrosive.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio Toxic Tort and Personal Injury Attorney, representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of civil litigation claims.
In 2017, Tyson Foods reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department after allegations of safety regulation violations at food processing facilities in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, where Tyson workers were exposed to dangerous levels of ammonia.
Tyson Foods agreed to pay almost $4 million for committing “various violations,” related to anhydrous ammonia, a gas commonly used in food refrigeration. The gas is known to cause burning, choking and severe illness in heavy exposure.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers ammonia an “extremely hazardous” substance and regulates its industrial use. Several Tyson Foods employees were reportedly injured in accidental ammonia releases between 2006 and 2010, resulting in at least one death.
About 80 percent of the ammonia produced in the United States is used in fertilizers. Workers in fertilizer plants or those working with fertilizers in agriculture may be exposed to large doses of ammonia and fall ill after acute or chronic exposure. It is also possible to be exposed to high levels of ammonia at home using cleaning products containing ammonia. More common, however, are injuries at the workplace in the following industries:
• Fertilizer plants
• Food processing plants
• Farm and agriculture
• Air conditioning
• Corrosion inhibitors
• Water purification
• Pulp and paper
• Textile and leather industries
• Waste treatment
Ammonia is a common ingredient in household cleaning products such as the following:
• Oven Cleaners
• Glass and Window Cleaners
• Toilet Cleaners
• Drain Cleaners
• Shining Waxes
• Multipurpose Cleaners
Ammonia exposure injuries are most commonly caused by inhalation, although injury may follow ingestion or direct contact with eyes or skin. Symptoms usually subside in one or two days, but serious cases can cause complications. Symptoms of ammonia exposure include the following:
• Itchy throat
• Chest tightness
• Eye irritation
• Abdominal pain
• Facial burns
• Oral burns and ulcerations
• Various respiratory symptoms
• Loss of consciousness (in very heavy exposure)
ABOUT THE LYON FIRM
Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
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The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.
Toxic exposure cases help empower employees to fight for their right to be protected, satisfactorily informed, and to stay safe. They also bring awareness to challenge and higher the expectations of companies who are not serving their employees justly.
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law.
(Hamilton County, Ohio): Confidential Settlement. Lead Counsel in a case that involved secondary lead exposure to two children. Their father worked at a local recycling plant that routinely recycled computer equipment. The company violated numerous OSHA regulations related to providing safety equipment and clothing to prevent lead particles from being transferred home. As a result, the Plaintiffs father transferred lead dust to his children who then suffered lead poisoning. The case was covered extensively by the Cincinnati news media and referenced in peer-reviewed medical literature. The settlement will provide educational needs to the children who suffered neurological injuries due the exposure.