Dry Ice Information


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(The following excerpts are by no means a complete and exhaustive study on dry ice. The information provided here relates to an outdoor activity and is not meant to be all inclusive. This information is from www.dryiceinfo.com, visit them for more information about dry ice.)


SAFE HANDLING OF DRY ICE:

Caution: Keep Dry Ice away from children if they cannot be closely supervised at all times.

WHAT IS IT?
Dry Ice is frozen carbon dioxide, a normal part of our earth's atmosphere. It is the gas that we exhale during breathing and the gas that plants use in photosynthesis. It is also the same gas commonly added to water to make soda water. Dry Ice is particularly useful for freezing, and keeping things frozen because of its very cold temperature: -109.3o F or -78.5oC. Dry Ice is widely used because it is simple to freeze and easy to handle using insulated gloves. Dry Ice changes directly from a solid to a gas sublimation in normal atmospheric conditions without going through a wet liquid stage. Therefore it gets the name "dry ice."

HANDLING
Dry Ice temperature is extremely cold at -109.3oF or -78.5oC. Always handle Dry Ice with care and wear protective cloth or leather gloves whenever touching it. An oven mitt or towel will work. If touched briefly, it is harmless, but prolonged contact with the skin will freeze cells and cause injury similar to a burn.

STORAGE
Store Dry Ice in an insulated container. The thicker the insulation, the slower it will sublimate. Do not store Dry Ice in a completely airtight container. The sublimation of Dry Ice to Carbon Dioxide gas will cause any airtight container to expand or possibly explode. Keep proper air ventilation wherever Dry Ice is stored. Do not store Dry Ice in unventilated rooms, cellars, autos, or boat holds. The sublimated Carbon Dioxide gas will sink to low areas and replace oxygenated air. This could cause suffocation if breathed exclusively. Do not store Dry Ice in a refrigerator freezer. The extremely cold temperature will cause your thermostat to turn off the freezer.

VENTILATION
Normal air is 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and only 0.035% Carbon Dioxide. If the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air rises above 0.5%, carbon dioxide can become dangerous. Smaller concentrations can cause quicker breathing, but is otherwise not harmful. If Dry Ice has been in a closed auto, van, room, or walk in for more than 10 minutes, open doors and allow adequate ventilation before entering. Leave area containing Dry Ice if you start to pant and breath quickly or your fingernails or lips start to turn blue. This is the sign that you have breathed in too much CO2 and not enough oxygen. Dry Ice CO2 is heavier than air and will accumulate in low spaces.

PICK UP TIME AND TRANSPORTING
Plan to pick up the Dry Ice as close to the time it is needed as possible. It sublimates (changing from a solid to a gas) at 10%, or 5 to 10 pounds every 24 hours, whichever is greater. Carry it in a well insulated container such as an ice chest. If it is transported inside a car or van for more than 15 minutes, make sure there is fresh air.

BURN TREATMENT
Treat Dry Ice burns the same as a regular heat burns. See a doctor if the skin blisters or comes off. Otherwise, if only red, it will heal in time as any other burn. Apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection and bandage only if the burned skin area needs to be protected.

DISPOSAL
Unwrap and leave it at room temperature in a well ventilated area. It will sublimate from a solid to a gas.

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