As we make progress in safeguarding the environment for a sustainable future, we must be honest about trade-offs and unintended consequences of various technologies. The reality is that advancement in one domain may risk or set back another.

Ammonia, sometimes used as a cooling product, poses serious health risks. It can inflict severe burns, irritate the skin and eyes and, if inhaled or ingested, it causes choking, breathing difficulties, and potentially fatal respiratory distress.

Regular, high-profile leaks at facilities that range from food production plants to hockey arenas and schools serve as a wake-up call to the dangers ammonia presents. Just this June, a leak at a California greenhouse sent two workers to the hospital. Those affected by an ammonia leak often endure chronic health problems that compromise their ability to work.

For more on the dangers of ammonia, read globalFACT’s latest opinion piece, Chilling facts about ammonia-based cooling, live now in Facilities Dive.