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Randy Chapman

Oh yeah, there's no concern at all for health with large amounts of ammonia being stored in the southeast corner of a city with prevailing winds from the southeast for 9 months of the year. Does anyone remember the hydrofluoric acid spill a few decades ago? The effects could be much worse, considering the amounts of ammonia being considered.

Some facts:

Jim Forsythe

Many of the chemicals in the plants have a potential to harm to humans . Because of the training that the workers receive,bad things do not happen offend. If there is a problem, the response teams are very good at taking care of the problems.
As a person who has worked around both, HF acid has a lot more to be concerned about than Ammonia . HF acid, seeks calcium such as in your bones. Etches glass such as your car, glasses and such. Can hurt you, just from the scale in a demo pipe. You have to have your finger nails removed, if it get under them. To walk around the HF acid area, requires protection. To work around it, you have to have max. protection , total encapsulated suit
Ammonia must be respected, but, but not on the level that HF acid requires.
HFacid was the top of my list, of products I did not like working around. Ammonia did not make my top 10.

The HF acid  leak we had in TC was just vapor release. If it had been a liquid leak, many might have died
Oct. 30,1987
More than 1,000 residents were treated for eye and respiratory problems after a pipeline ruptured here, sending a cloud of gas into nearby residential neighborhoods.
. At news conferences here and in Washington, the Environmental Policy Institute compared the leak's potential peril to the accident at Bhopal, India, where more than 2,500 people were killed after a 1984 gas leak.
Fred Millar, a spokesman for the group, said that if the accident had released hydrofluoric acid in its more concentrated liquid form instead of as a gas, the accident could have killed thousands. The institute said the evacuation here was inadequate given the risks involved. 

Randy Chapman

Jim, the pipe didn't rupture in 1987, it was sheared off, due to worker error. I remember also the trees downwind losing all their leaves, all galvanized steel losing it's coating and rusting immediately, and homes with clouded window glass. Luckily, the wind remained constant in direction and didn't allow the cloud to do more damage to residents and property.

Do you remember when just 7,500 gallons of ammonia was spilled in the tanker wreck in Houston...I believe at I-45 and 610? Not a large spill at all, but many were injured due to vapor inhalation and several killed.

Again, my point is the volume of a possible spill. And yes, I know other chemicals are more dangerous. The purity of the NH3 typically used in chemical processes is not the same as the cleaners you buy in the grocery store. It is magnitudes stronger. The fact remains that in a gaseous form, nearly pure NH3, can overcome your lungs quickly, disable you, and kill you. It's not a benign chemical. But hey, it's great news for TC!

Jim Forsythe

Any city that has industry that produces chemicals, has a potential for accidents. To me, the higher risk is the trucks and railcars that are carrying the chemical, that we interact with each day.

"Jim, the pipe didn't rupture in 1987, it was sheared off, due to worker error."  That the point, it was a small incident because ir was only a shear at the top, and not a failure of the tank at the bottom. If it had failed at the bottom ,it would have been very bad, and the death count may have been in the thousands.
"Do you remember when just 7,500 gallons of ammonia was spilled in the tanker wreck " Yes, this lead to changes on how to transport  products.  As bad as the  7 dead 200 hurt from NH3in  at 610 and Southwest Freeway , it  would have been several times the death total if the truck had been hauling HF acid. 
."The purity of the NH3 typically used in chemical processes is not the same as the cleaners you buy in the grocery store" is very true for almost all chemicals produced or used in a Chemical plants. For example, some of oxygen we use in the plants will kill, if not used the correct way.
"my point is the volume of a possible spill" Unless you have a failure of a tank, leaks would be small, because of being able to contain the leak. 

 May, 11, 1976
Randy, below is the link to  Material Safety Data Sheet for HYDROFLUORIC ACID . Please take time to read it. Look at Section 3 and 4
and you may get a idea what it can do to humans , if handled wrong.


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