Ammonia

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain ammonia. You should avoid ammonia if you are sensitive or allergic or suffer from dermatitis & other symptoms of skin irritation. Ingredients such as ammonia, resorcinol & peroxide are well documented as skin irritants. “Contact urticaria is the most common reaction. Skin that has touched ammonium persulfate becomes red, swollen (whealing) and itchy within a few minutes of exposure. If the ammonium persulfate is washed off, the reaction settles within half an hour or so. Allergic contact dermatitis may occur.” - www.dermnetnz.org

CLASSIFICATION

CAS No: 7664-41-7 & CAS No: 7664-41-7. Ammonia and Ammonium hydroxideand; Ammonia anhydrous; Ammonia gas; and Ammoniac "Synonym(s): AMMONIA (NH3-N) ; AMMONIA NITROGEN UNIONIZED (AS N) ; AMMONIA, ANHYDROUS; AMMONIA, UNIONIZED; NH3-N; UNIONIZED AMMONIA; UNIONIZED AMMONIA AS N; AM-FOL; AMMONIA (ACGIH:OSHA) ; AMMONIA ANHYDROUS; AMMONIA GAS" - EWG

HOW IS THIS USED?

Ammonia is a cleaning solution commonly used in household and industrial cleaning products; toilet and bathroom cleaners and polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, sinks and jewelry. It is also used in water purifucation, rubber, paper, pharmaceuticals and explosives.

“In a small study of hairdressers, occupational asthma (OA) was found in 51.1% and allergic occupational dermatitis in 36.2% of study participants. Ammonium persulfate was the responsible agent in 87.5% of OA cases. The average overall duration of exposure in the group of hairdressers with OA was 7 years and the average time from start of exposure to onset of symptoms was 5.3 years. Whilst just over 30% had a family history of allergic disease, none of the patients had previous occupations with possible risk factors for asthma, rhinitis, or dermatitis prior to the becoming hairdressers.” - www.dermnetnz.org

RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY

  • NICNAS Human Health Tier II

WHAT IS AMMONIA?

  • “Ammonia is a powerful irritant,” says Donna Kasuska, chemical engineer and president of ChemConscious, Inc., a risk-management consulting company. “It’s going to affect you right away. The people who will be really affected are those who have asthma, and elderly people with lung issues and breathing problems. It’s almost always inhaled. People who get a lot of ammonia exposure, like housekeepers, will often develop chronic bronchitis and asthma.” Ammonia can also create a poisonous gas if it’s mixed with bleach." - 8 Hidden toxins by ExperiencedLife.com

  • "Ingredients with high acute toxicity include chlorine bleach and ammonia, which produce fumes that are highly irritating to eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and should not be used by people with asthma or lung or heart problems. These two chemicals pose an added threat in that they can react with each other or other chemicals to form lung-damaging gases. Combining products that contain chlorine and ammonia or ammonia and lye (in some oven cleaners) produces chloramine gases, while chlorine combined with acids (commonly used in toilet bowl cleaners) forms toxic chlorine gas." - OrganicConsumers.org, How toxic are your household cleaning supplies?

RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Cleaning Products

What are common sources of irritant contact dermatitis?

Cleveland Clinic says that "Detergents, soaps, cleaners, waxes, and chemicals are substances that can irritate the skin. They can wear down the oily, protective layer on skin surface and lead to irritant contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis is common among people who regularly work with strong chemicals or detergents, such as restaurant, maintenance, and chemical workers. It is also seen in people who do a lot of housework due to contact with cleaning products." - Contact Dermititis

Health Line says, "Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type of contact dermatitis. It happens when the skin comes in contact with a toxic material. Toxic substances that can cause irritant contact dermatitis include: battery acid, bleach, drain cleaners, kerosene, detergents and pepperspray. Irritant contact dermatitis can also occur when the skin comes in contact with less irritating materials — like soap or even water — too often." - Contact Dermititis Casues

SCA endorses products that are made from Biodegradable Surfactants are used accordance with the Australian Standard AS 4351

Ideally cleaning products should: Not contain hazardous chemicals; Use only biodegradable surfactants; Contain No or low levels of phosphates; Low Sodium = Septic Safe; Contain no or low level use of fillers; Be 100% Soluble in water; Have low environmental impact packaging. Domestic home cleaning agents should exclude and/or restrict all chemicals that form the Allergy Certified Campaign (as detailed above and below).

Amina Kitching