When ammonia is present in water at high enough levels, it is difficult for aquatic organisms to sufficiently excrete the toxicant, leading to toxic buildup in internal tissues and blood, and potentially death. Environmental factors, such as pH and temperature, can affect ammonia toxicity to aquatic animals.

What happens to ammonia when it enters the environment?

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.

Is ammonia safe for the environment?

(Ammonia is, of course, dangerous in its concentrated form, when skin contact or breathing the fumes can cause injury. But it’s an extremely effective cleaner, and it is not harmful to the environment.

What is the effect of ammonia?

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.

How does ammonia cause air pollution?

Gaseous ammonia reacts with other pollutants in the air to form fine particles of ammonium salts which affect human breathing. Ammonia gas can also affect the soil chemistry of the locality that it settles on and will, for example, degrade the conditions required by the sphagnum moss and heathers of peatland.

How does ammonia pollute water?

Unionized ammonia can cause toxicity to Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria, inhibiting the nitrification process. This inhibition can result in increased ammonia accumulation in the aquatic environment, intensifying the level of toxicity to bacteria and aquatic animals (Carmargo and Alonso 2006).

Does ammonia cause global warming?

Ammonia emissions have been shown to be climate sensitive (Sutton et al., 2013) with a global emissions increasing about 42% for a warming of 5 °C.

How does ammonia enter the soil?

Ammonia occurs naturally in the environment. A small amount of ammonia is generated when lightning strikes and reaches earth in rainfall. But most ammonia is produced by bacteria in water and soil as an end product of plant and animal waste decomposition.