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Agencies issue ammonium nitrate advisory

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have released a new chemical hazard advisory outlining the risks involved with improperly storing, handling, and managing ammonium nitrate (AN).

This advisory adds to the goals of the executive order President Obama set forth in August 2013, urging government and industry to focus on improving safety and security at chemical facilities. Along with explaining chemical hazards, the advisory stresses the importance of proper AN storage, building design, and emergency planning.

"Ammonium nitrate can be very dangerous, and it's imperative that employers, workers, and first responders all understand the hazards," explained Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "With this understanding, together they can control these hazards and save lives and limbs."

Help reduce injuries among employees working with harmful chemicals by providing personal protective equipment (PPE) like safety goggles, gloves, protective clothing, and respiratory protection. Keep first aid supplies such as emergency eye wash stations and showers near work areas for workers to quickly access in the event of an emergency.