Dry ice is a fantastic method of shipping items that need to stay cold, such as frozen meats, seafood, chocolates, or even essential medicine or vaccines. This is because dry ice is much, much colder than regular ice, as it is around -110 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to this property, as well as having no liquid form, dry ice can remain cold for a long time, making it a perfect choice for long term shipments. Dry ice is actually so cold that it can instantly cause frostbite on human skin, so it must be handled with utmost care. But this isn’t the only safety hazard it can pose to humans if handled improperly. As such, there are some safety compliances one must follow in order to be able to ship with dry ice. This blog will cover the legal requirements of shipping with dry ice, so you can work with them and start shipping with ease.
Understanding the Legal Circumstance
Dry ice is named by the United Nations as a Class 9 hazardous substance. This is due to its ability to burn humans, sublimate (returning to its gaseous CO2 form,) and potentially explode if not handled properly. However, dry ice can be shipped via air travel, as long as the packaging is correct and follows all legal requirements as set by the International Air Transport Association. The specific requirements for shipping with the ice mainly lies in how the package is designed.
Packaging Correctly for Shipping
When shipping the ice through airplane travel, the packaging of the ice is extremely important. All packages containing ice must be packaged according to the IATA’s Packing Instruction 954. As a basic summary, this requirement lists these as must haves for any package containing dry ice:
- packaging must be able to withstand very low temperatures
- packaging must provide adequate room for gas venting
- packaging must be sturdy enough to handle contact with dry ice
- all packaging must be properly labeled and approved before shipment
Another recommendation is to use a material, such as styrofoam, that is likely to last long exposure with dry ice. Plastic and glass can become very brittle when exposed to ice for too long, which can explode when the pressure changes, such as in an airplane cabin.
If you want to ship with ice through the mail, you’ll need to receive IATA training beforehand. But hey, at least you now know just what to expect from your training!
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.