Breathing problems big concern after explosion

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by KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 18 at 12:01 PM

WEST, Texas -- Breathing problems will be a big concern over the next several days because of the ammonia from the explosion in West, Texas.

The West Fertilizer Co. had as much as 54,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia on hand, which is a fertilizer farmers use on their crops.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anhydrous ammonia is a pungent gas  and a highly volatile chemical. It can rapidly cause dehydration and severe burns if it combines with water in the body.

Exposure to high concentrations can lead to death. Victims require treatment with large quantities of water.

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