ABOUT DRY ICE

WHAT IS DRY ICE ?

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide, non-combustible, available in flakes, pellets or block form. Dry ice will sublime (vaporizes directly to the gas state) at a temperature of –78.5C (-109.3 F) or higher.

HOW LONG DOES DRY ICE LAST?

Dry ice will sublimate at an approximate rate of 10lbs every 24hrs, when stored in an appropriate insulated container.

HAZARDS OF DRY ICE

Contact Hazard: At -109 °F (-79 °C), skin contact with dry ice is can lead to severe frostbite; skin cells freeze and become damaged very quickly.

Asphyxiation Hazard: Dry ice will sublime (change from solid to gas) at any temperature above -109 °F. This releases potentially substantial volumes of CO2 (1 pound solid = 250 liters gas), which can displace oxygen quickly in the air around the dry ice, causing difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness and death. This is especially of concern in nonventilated or confined spaces.

Explosion Hazard: Due to the rapid emission of large volumes of CO2 gas, any dry ice that is stored in a closed container can pressurize the container. Given enough time at normal room temperature, such a container may explode if the gas is not able to escape.

 

HANDLING DRY ICE

  • Dry ice can come in pellet or block form. Use the following precautions when handling dry ice in any form:

  • Wear appropriate eye protection, including goggles and/or a face shield.

  • Use tongs to handle dry ice when possible.

  • Use loose-fitting, thermally insulated gloves to manually handle dry ice.  Never handle dry ice with bare hands.

STORAGE AND DISPOSAL

 

  • Always store dry ice in a well-ventilated location.

  • Do not store dry ice in confined areas with limited ventilation. This includes cold rooms, walk-in refrigerators and environmental chambers.

  • Never store dry ice in a tightly sealed container, such as a plastic or glass bottle, or any container with a screw-top lid that will not vent. Styrofoam is an appropriate storage material since it is both insulated and not airtight.

  • To dispose of dry ice, place it in a well-ventilated area at room temperature; the remainder of the ice will sublimate away.

  • Never dispose of dry ice in a trash can, chemical waste container or other garbage/waste can.

  • Never dispose of dry ice in a sink, toilet or other fixture; the temperature difference can destroy the plumbing.

  • Do not leave dry ice unattended in open areas.

TRANSPORTING DRY ICE

 

  • Only package dry ice in containers that are appropriate (i.e., non-sealable and not damaged by cold temperatures).

  • All packaging must allow for release of CO2 gas. Never seal a container with dry ice in it.

  • Crack a window in your vehicle to allow for fresh air and ventilation

  • If you receive or see a container that appears swollen or bulging, or if you suspect dry ice is improperly placed in a sealed container, secure the area and call 911. Do not try to release pressure on your own, which can cause serious injury