DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) — After two accidents involving Anhydrous Ammonia happened in the span of two weeks in Dubuque County, officials warn drivers of the potential dangers.
The chemical is commonly used as fertilizer. This time of year farmers will inject the chemical into their fields before planting crops in the Spring, so it is common to see tanks of this chemical traveling on highways.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says if not handled properly, if inhaled the toxic chemical can cause upper respiratory issues, burns to the skin, or even death.
Dubuque County Emergency Management Coordinator, Tom Berger says while transporting the chemical does not pose an immediate threat to the public, other drivers should be aware it is out there on the roads this time of season.
“There’s a lot of anhydrous ammonia moving down from the plants getting to the farmers so they can get it to their fields. They’re very slow moving vehicles so it’s important that people are cognizant that they’re out there.”
Berger warns that if anyone does come across an accident causing the chemical to leak from a tank, people should stay as far away from it as possible.
“Its very important that people stay away, at least 300 feet away and stay up wind and never ever go into the cloud if you see any kind of a cloud of the Anhydrous Ammonia.”
No one was harmed by the Anhydrous Ammonia that was involved in the two recent accidents in Dubuque County.