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Some people may not know the dangers of dry ice. This type of ice, which is often used to freeze food or to keep food ingredients durable, can actually have a negative impact on he alth, especially if it is used or stored in an improper way
Dry ice is compressed carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. This type of ice, which is also known as dry ice or ice origin, has a very cold temperature, which is around -78°C. If ordinary ice made from water can melt at room temperature, dry ice will turn into a gas.
Because it is very cold, dry ice is often used to freeze food. Not only that, dry ice is also widely used in performing arts to give the effect of fog and smoke.
Despite having many uses in everyday life, dry ice also carries some risks. What is it?
Dry Ice Dangers to Watch Out for
There are some dangers of dry ice that are important to know, especially for those of you who use it often. The hazards in question include:
Dry ice has a very cold temperature. If you hold it with your bare hands for too long, dry ice can cause ice burn or frostbite. This occurs due to disruption of blood flow to body tissues due to extreme cold temperatures.
Frostbite can cause the skin to feel very cold and sore, then it looks reddish or purplish and blisters appear. Over time, the part of the body affected by frostbite will turn black and numb. This means that the body tissue has died due to lack of blood flow.
When you experience early symptoms of frostbite, you need to immediately find a warm temperature to re-launch blood flow. However, if it causes tissue damage, frostbite needs to be treated immediately by a doctor.
As previously mentioned, dry ice can turn into carbon dioxide gas. If a person inhales too much of this gas, especially in a closed room without ventilation, he can experience asphyxia and lack of oxygen.
This condition can cause symptoms of headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, and seizures. People affected by asphyxia will also look weak, pale, and bluish in the lips and nails (cyanosis).If not treated immediately by a doctor, asphyxia can lead to fatal complications.
Injury from explosion
Dry ice stored in a closed container and at room temperature can trap carbon dioxide gas, thereby increasing the air pressure in the container.
This can cause the container to explode and break. Pieces of dry ice and crushed containers can bounce off and injure those around them.
Using Dry Ice Safely
In order to keep dry ice safe to use, there are several things that you should always pay attention to, including:
- Choose dry ice according to the size and quantity required.
- Use personal protective equipment, such as gloves, goggles, and face shield, when handling and cutting dry ice.
- Keep dry ice in slightly open or perforated containers.
- Keep dry ice out of reach of children.
- Avoid eating or swallowing dry ice.
- Avoid inhaling carbon dioxide gas produced by dry ice.
Despite having many uses in everyday life, the dangers of dry ice should not be underestimated.
If your skin becomes blistered, painful, or blackish and numbs after touching dry ice, consult a doctor immediately for proper treatment.
You are also advised to visit the nearest hospital immediately if you experience symptoms of headache and shortness of breath after inhaling carbon dioxide gas from dry ice.