Toxic substances list: ammonia dissolved in water

Ammonia exists in two forms simultaneously, with the equilibrium between the two forms governed in large part by pH and temperature. The forms are NH3 (un-ionized ammonia) and NH4+ (ionized ammonia or ammonium). Together they are called total ammonia. It is the NH3 form that is particularly harmful to aquatic organisms. The primary human use of ammonia is as a nitrogen source in fertilizers, especially anhydrous ammonia and urea. Ammonia is released into the environment by many industries and other human activities. The major quantifiable sources of ammonia released to aquatic ecosystems across Canada are wastewater treatment plants. Ammonia is also a naturally occurring compound required by most organisms for protein synthesis and a waste product of animal, fish and microbial metabolism.

CAS (Chemical Abstract Service) registry number: 7664-41-7

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