Toxno Substance Profile
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Substance Name

Ammonium nitrate
Identification Number: CASRN | 6484-52-2

  Substance Attributes


  • Endocrine Disrupter

    Interferes with your hormones. Hormones are powerful messengers that can bind to DNA. You don't want to mess with them.

  • Reproductive Effects

    Interferes with fertility

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Toxic to specific organs

    Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.

  • Soluble in Water

    This substance easily dissolves in water. As such it can be easily transported via waterways. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Chemical used in hydraulic fracturing fluids | Household Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Synthetic Toxin | Indirect Additives Used in Food Contact Substances | PESTICIDE active ingredient | Inert Pesticide Ingredient USA - Food Use Permitted | Pesticide approved in USA (California)
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Inorganic Compounds | Homogeneous Non-metal Compounds | Non-metal Oxoanionic Compounds | Non-Metal Nitrates | Non-Metal Nitrates
  • SYNONYMS: Ammonium hydrogendinitrate | Ammonium nitrate (pesticide/fertilizer mixture) | Ammonium nitrate solution | Ammonium nitrate urea solution (containing ammonia) | Ammonium nitrate urea solution (not containing ammonia) | Ammonium nitric acid | Ammonium nitricum | Ammonium saltpeter | Ammonium(I) nitrate (1:1) | Herco prills | Merco prills | Nitram | Nitrate d'ammonium | Nitrate of ammonia | Nitrato amonico | Nitric acid ammonium salt | Nitric acid ammonium salt (1:1) | Nitric acid | ammonium salt | Norway saltpeter | Varioform I
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Fracturing fluid, unknown | Ammonium nitrate is a nitrate of ammonium. It is commonly used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertilizer, and it has also been used as an oxidizing agent in explosives. Nitrite is a toxic compound known to cause methemoglobinemia. (L1137, L1619)
  • COMMENTS:
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: H4N2O3
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | Article-Colborn-2010 | EPA in USA | US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | FDA Indirect Food Additives | DPR | EPA USA - Pesticide Inerts
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Nitrate and nitrite poisoning causes methemoglobinemia. Symptoms include cyanosis, cardiac dysrhythmias and circulatory failure, and progressive central nervous system (CNS) effects. CNS effects can range from mild dizziness and lethargy to coma and convulsions. (L1137)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Nitrate and nitrite poisoning causes methemoglobinemia. Nitrites may cause pregnancy complications and developmental effects. They may also be carcinogenic. (L1137) | Intake of some amount of nitrates and nitrites is a normal part of the nitrogen cycle in humans. In vivo conversion of nitrates to nitrites can occur in the gastrointestional tract under the right conditions, significantly enhancing nitrates' toxic potency. The major metabolic pathway for nitrate is conversion to nitrite, and then to ammonia. Nitrites, nitrates, and their metabolites are excreted in the urine. (L1137)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Nitrate's toxicity is a result of it's conversion to nitrite once in the body. Nitrite causes the autocatalytic oxidation of oxyhemoglobin to hydrogen peroxide and methemoglobin. This elevation of methemoglobin levels is a condition known as methemoglobinemia, and is characterized by tissue hypoxia, as methemoglobin cannot bind oxygen. (A2450, L1613) | Nitrite causes the autocatalytic oxidation of oxyhemoglobin to hydrogen peroxide and methemoglobin. This elevation of methemoglobin levels is a condition known as methemoglobinemia, and is characterized by tissue hypoxia, as methemoglobin cannot bind oxygen. (A2450, L1613)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes:

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  Exposure Routes

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