1.5 Million Pennsylvanians Live Close to Large Amounts of Hazardous Ammonia
Ammonia, a toxic gas the Environmental Protection Agency classifies as extremely hazardous, is the most widely used dangerous chemical in Pennsylvania.
One in every eight Pennsylvanians — 1.5 million people — lives close enough to facilities that store large amounts of ammonia to be at risk in a catastrophic chemical accident, according to a PublicSource analysis of federal records.
These records show what could happen in a worst-case scenario, where a large amount of hazardous chemical quickly leaks.
That 1.5 million includes only residents. It does not count children at schools, shoppers, people in office buildings, churches, hospitals and prisons. Nor does it include the 38,000 workers at the plants that use the ammonia.