Ammonia or azane is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3. The simplest pnictogen hydride, ammonia is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent smell. It contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or indirectly, is also a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceutical products and is used in many commercial cleaning products.
Although common in nature and in wide use, ammonia is both caustic and hazardous in its concentrated form. It is classified as an extremely hazardous substance in the United States as defined in Section 302 of the U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (42 U.S.C. 11002), and is subject to strict reporting requirements by facilities which produce, store, or use it in significant quantities.
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