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What is ammonium perchlorate and what is it for?

The term perchlorate refers to a group of negatively charged atoms made up of a chlorine atom in the center attached to four oxygen atoms.

Perchlorates are odorless and colorless. There are five classes of perchlorates that are manufactured in large quantities: magnesium perchlorate, potassium perchlorate, sodium perchlorate, ammonium perchlorate, and lithium perchlorate.

Perchlorates are stable at room temperature, but when heated they begin to react producing a large amount of heat. This results in more perchlorates beginning to react, generating even more heat and so on until the explosion occurs.

Due to the way perchlorates react, they are used in propellants for fireworks, rockets, gunpowder, explosives, and light signals.

Ammonium perchlorate (ammonium perchlorate), a powerful oxidant, is a chemical compound whose formula is NH4ClO4, it is the salt of perchloric acid. It is widely used as an explosive since it has the property of decomposing by heat without leaving a residue.

Ammonium perchlorate has military use, so in many countries they think that the quantities they produce are confidential; Hence, they do not want to give much information about the factories, nor the amount of perchlorates they manufacture or use, nor the amount of perchlorates that enters the country from other different countries.

Ammonium perchlorate is obtained by double decomposition between sodium perchlorate and ammonium chloride.

It is produced in large quantities, since mixed with a binder it is widely used in fuel as a solid fuel rocket propellant, since it is simple and inexpensive in construction. About 70% of the fuel that makes up space shuttle rockets is ammonium perchlorate.

The uncontrolled burning of ammonium perchlorate can become very dangerous, fires, violent explosions difficult to control.

Perchlorates at normal temperatures react in a much slower way, being able to remain in the environment without reacting for years. In situations of maintaining long contact with the product, it can cause a certain irritation to the mucosal membranes.

Perchlorates can also be found in glues, batteries, air bags, electrolytic baths, bleaches, techniques for generating oxygen, and for making other chemicals.

Prolonged or repeated exposure can affect the thyroid, causing reduced levels of thyroid hormones.

The effects on health will depend on the type of exposure, the duration in time, the presence of other substances, as well as the habits of the individual.

It is very important to keep this type of product out of the reach of children, to avoid serious health problems. If the person works with this type of perchlorate product, the amount of perchlorate that one can carry in their body through urine can be measured and solution immediately.

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