Dry Ice Safety 101
Dry ice, perhaps most popularly known for its special effects value, holds a multitude of functionality beyond cool looking fog clouds. It can be great for uses ranging from keeping food fresh on hunting or camping trips to transporting biomedical materials. Whatever the use, the extreme cold that’s characteristic of dry ice can be as harmful as it is useful. Be sure to keep the following dry ice safety tips in mind when you have dry ice in your possession.
Dry ice temperatures hover around -109°F (or -78.5°C). That’s really cold. Way colder than your skin can tolerate prolonged direct contact with. It’s crucial to wear protective cloth or leather gloves for safe handling of dry ice. A brief touch won’t hurt you, but trying to hold it in a bare hand will result in skin cells freezing and an injury similar to a burn.
Dry ice is happiest in a well-insulated container. The better the insulation, the slower your dry ice will sublimate. However, DO NOT store dry ice in a completely airtight container. (We’ll get back to this in the next section.) It’s also not a great dry ice safety practice to keep dry ice in your freezer — it’ll keep everything in there nice and cold but it’ll turn of your freezer’s thermostat and it’ll be used up much more quickly.
Proper storage ventilation for dry ice safety is crucial because of all the carbon dioxide that dry ice emits as it sublimates. Normal air is only 0.35% carbon dioxide, and any concentration higher than 0.5% can start to get dangerous. Keeping dry ice in an unventilated space, like a car or a closed room, can gather dangerous levels of carbon dioxide. If this accidentally occurs, make sure you let the space air out for a while before spending any time in there.
Safe handling of dry ice requires a good amount of diligence. If you slip up and get a burn, the steps to take are actually identical to a heat burn. If blisters start to peel off you should consult a doctor, but if it’s just red and tender, it will heal over the next handful of days, just like a regular burn. Antibiotic ointment will help accelerate healing and keep your injury clean.
Dry Ice Corp: A Dry Ice Supplier in Maryland
Dry Ice Corp is the largest regional supplier of dry ice products and customized delivery services in the Northeastern United States, from Virginia all the way up to Maine. And because our dry ice is supplied by manufacturing plants located right here in the Northeast, we can guarantee freshness. Other suppliers, meanwhile, get their dry ice from manufacturing plants as much as 1,000 miles away, which has a direct impact on product freshness.
Dry Ice Corp provides the highest levels of service and freshest dry ice products.
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If you have any questions about how to use Dry Ice safely, please contact Dry Ice Corp by calling 201.767.3200. You can also connect with Dry Ice Corp on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.