Nashville HAZMAT contains “major” ammonia leak at Coca-Cola plant


(FOX 17)

Nashville Firefighters and HAZMAT crews were able to contain what crews called a “major” ammonia leak at the Coca-Cola plant in Berry Hill.

Crews on the scene confirmed that they evacuated employees at the plant, but no one was injured from the exposure.

The leak was bad enough for crews to have to shut down roads in a 1-square-mile radius around the plant at 407 Craighead Street.

It’s not yet known what caused the leak.

The Tennessee Department of Health has a page dedicated to the dangers of ammonia and ammonia exposure.

  • If swallowed, ammonia will cause pain and burning in the throat and stomach.
  • If touched, ammonia can cause irritation or burns to the eyes or skin.
  • If breathed in, ammonia can irritate the respiratory tract and can cause coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Inhalation of ammonia can also cause nose and throat irritation.
  • People can smell the pungent odor of ammonia in air at about 5 parts of ammonia in a million parts of air (ppm).
  • According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the least amount of ammonia which is found to be irritating to the eyes, nose and throat of the most sensitive individuals is 50 parts per million (ppm).
  • Frostbite can occur with exposure to anhydrous ammonia.
  • Exposure to very high concentrations of ammonia gas can cause pulmonary edema, upper respiratory irritation, tearing of the eyes, increased pulse rate and increased blood pressure.
  • Death has been reported after an exposure to 10,000 ppm for an unknown duration.
  • Because ammonia is a respiratory tract irritant, persons who are hyper reactive to other respiratory irritants or are asthmatic, may be more susceptible to the inhalation of ammonia.

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