Ammonium Sulfate

Ammonium sulfate [(NH4)2SO4] is a solid product that is largely a by-product of coke ovens where sulfuric acid is used to remove ammonia evolved from the coal. Its oral human median toxic dose (TD50) is 1500 mg/kg, the domestic animal median lethal dose (LD50) is 3500 mg/kg, and rat lethal dose (LD50) is 3000 mg/kg. No known adverse chronic effects are associated with ammonium sulfate (15,16).

The material consists of brownish gray to white crystals or granules. Ammonium sulfate is moderately irritating to the eyes and skin, especially with prolonged contact to dust. Inhalation may cause sore throat, coughing, or shortness of breath. It is moderately toxic by ingestion and may cause sore throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Animal studies suggest that ulceration or hemorrhage of the gastrointestinal tract can occur. Systemic ammonia poisoning is possible if sufficient absorption occurs (16).

Ammonium sulfate does not burn but decomposes at 282°C to release ammonia gases and sulfur oxides. Individuals with asthma may be at increased risk from exposure to ammonium sulfate (16-18).

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