Why Can Dry Ice Cause “Burns?”
You’ve probably heard the complaints of people that have mishandled dry ice and complained of their “burns” as a result. But you are probably wondering to yourself– how can something that is frozen burn? This thought goes against all of the logical thinking we were taught in science class all our lives: fire burns, ice freezes. But you have to remember that dry ice isn’t regular ice at all– in fact, it’s completely different down to the molecular level. Here’s a guide as to why dry ice burns human skin and how to handle the ice correctly as not to injure yourself or others.
How is Dry Ice Different from Ice?
Ice, as we all know, is the frozen form of water. Water freezes around 27 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees Celsius. We use it in our drinks, to keep food cold, and even to skate on in the wintertime. However, d ry ice is not water-based at all. Simply put, it is the solid form of CO2, which has a much, much lower freezing point than water. In addition, the “vapor” you see coming off of ice is due to the properties of CO2; there is no liquid form, so the ice at room temperature will begin to sublimate directly into a gaseous form.
How Does Ice Burn?
When someone complains of dry ice burning them, they are on the right track but aren’t quite right. The reality is, an injury sustained by touching ice is actually a form of acute frostbite, which acts and feels very similar to how a severe burn would. Therefore, it is very important to always handle dry ice properly and never touch it with bare skin.
How to Handle Dry Ice
Handling dr y ice is not as hard as you’d think. The main points are to never let dry ice come in contact with any bare skin to avoid frostbite. Always wear insulative clothing and use metal forceps to handle the ice if available. If you must directly touch the ice, make sure you are wearing special gloves made for handling ice. There is also another potential problem with ]ice: the gas it gives off. This gas can actually be harmful to people and animals’ health, so it’s important to make sure to only use ice outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
Dry Ice For All Your Needs
Dry Ice Corp is the largest regional supplier of dry ice and related products in the Northeastern United States. Our ice is fresh and delivered right to your doorstep. We are happy to help you determine the best way to ship your goods, whether you have a huge amount of cookies or a single pie, and help you select the perfect amount of dry ice for the job. Give us a call at (201) 767-3200 or contact us online for a quote. To connect with us online, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.