What is ammonium nitrate, the chemical that exploded in Beirut?
The country’s prime minister Hassan Diab said the blast was caused by around 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored near the city’s cargo port. Nitrogen oxides are commonly present in urban air pollution, and can irritate the respiratory system. Elevated levels of these pollutants are particularly concerning for people with respiratory conditions. The fumes in Beirut will present a health risk to residents until they naturally dissipate, which could take several days depending on the local weather. The Conversation