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PA EPA ISSUES SAFETY ALERT ON AMMONIA USED AS A REFRIGERANT
Release Date: 08/14/98
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 1998
EPA ISSUES SAFETY ALERT ON AMMONIA USED AS A REFRIGERANT
EPA today issued a safety alert on anhydrous ammonia used as a refrigerant in mechanical compression systems at most food processing facilities. EPA developed these recommendations from information exchanged between EPA Region 3 staff and more than 120 facilities both large and small that use ammonia refrigeration systems. Most of these facilities had reported a release of ammonia in the last three years. Several recommendations included in the report to prevent chemical accidents include: Provide barriers to protect refrigeration equipment, i.e. lines, valves and refrigeration coils from impact in areas where forklifts are used. Consider starting a forklift driver training program; Consider installing ammonia detectors in areas that are not manned 24 hours/day. Ensure that the ammonia detectors are calibrated regularly against a known standard; Develop and maintain a written preventive maintenance program and schedule based on the manufacturer’s recommendations for all of the refrigeration equipment; Establish training programs to ensure that the ammonia refrigeration system is maintained by knowledgeable personnel. For a complete listing of all the recommendations and to review other safety alerts and full accident investigation reports from EPA, visit our homepage at: https://www.epa.gov/ceppo/ or contact the EPCRA Hotline at 1-800-553-7672.