So, obviously dry ice is cold – but just how cold? A normal ice cube you may toss into your favorite beverage melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit; Dry Ice sublimates, which is the transition from a solid phase to a gaseous phase while skipping the liquid phase, at -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit! This extremely low temperature is enough to freeze your cells with prolonged contact, causing injuries very similar to that of a burn. Typically, minor burns can be treated with some over the counter antibiotic ointment and a band-aid. However, if skin blisters appear – see a doctor.
Now we know just how cold this product is and what can happen with prolonged skin exposure, but how do we handle this product safely? You should always wear hand protection when transporting Dry Ice. Cloth or leather gloves are preferable, but even an oven mitt or towel will get the job done. It is a good idea to think about eye protection as well – your eyes are extremely sensitive and exposure to Dry Ice can cause serious damage. Consider throwing on a pair of safety glasses to protect your vision.
Next, we need to discuss proper storage. Dry Ice can last several days if stored properly – but there are a few key points to note. You always want to store your product in a well-insulated container, the thicker the better for longevity. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you do not store your ice in a completely airtight container. As the Dry Ice begins to sublimate, the gaseous product will begin to increase the pressure in your container and can lead to the destruction of your container, or even an explosion. For small quantities of Dry Ice, Styrofoam coolers are a great option. For larger quantities, consider purchasing a commercial grade storage container that is meant for the specific purpose.
Last but certainly not least, store your ice in a well-ventilated area. Carbon Dioxide is present in our normal breathing air at 0.035%, if this number gets to 0.5% – it can be problematic for our health. Too much C02 exposure can lead to dizziness, fatigue, headaches or even asphyxiation. But do not fret, increase your ventilation by opening doors and windows and turning on fans. Keep in mind, C02 in a gaseous state will always settle to the ground as it is denser than air.
Now that you have a little more knowledge on this widely used product – have a safe and fun summer. Get outside, stay cool and enjoy the weather! For any questions, you may always reach out to myself at firstname.lastname@example.org.