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Dry Ice Safety

Dry Ice safety is mainly common sense. Used responsibly, dry ice can amaze, amuse, and educate.

(Be sure to read this information on Dry Ice Storage, and this information on Dry Ice Suppliers. )

There are three keys to understanding dry ice safety:


Safety Key #1: Dry ice is extremely cold (-109 F)

Opening the lock:

  • Always use gloves when handling dry ice.
  • Make sure that children understand that they are not to touch the dry ice.
  • Only allow young people to use it under adult supervision.
  • Store dry ice in an area that is not accessible to young people.


Safety Key #2: Carbon Dioxide is heavier than oxygen, and will displace oxygen in the air.

Opening the lock:

  • Always use in a well-ventilated area.
  • If transporting Dry Ice in a vehicle, open the windows of the vehicle while driving. Leave the windows cracked open if you need to park the vehicle.
  • Ideally, you would store the dry ice in a well-ventilated area. If this isnít possible, always ventilate the storage area before entering.


Safety Key #3: Dry ice turns into gas and expands. Dry ice stored in a tightly sealed container is potentially explosive.


This video is shown for demonstration purposes only. You should not attempt to make dry ice bombs using this or any other method. Adults should take precautions to ensure that young people can only access dry ice under adult supervision.

Opening the lock:

  • Do not attempt to make dry ice bombs. (Adults should not introduce young people to dry ice unless they trust those young people to act responsibly.)
  • Store in containers that allow gas to escape. For instance, do not store in a freezer. If stored in a cooler, leave the top of the cooler slightly ajar.


Creating a safe environment (For adults only.)

I like to use dry ice with 10-12 year olds. At this age, young people have the maturity to use dry ice safely.

If you have any doubts about the young people you are working with, there are plenty of other cool science projects on this site. Do one of them.

When working with a group of young people, your most important job is to ensure their safety. In order to guarantee a safe lab environment, all of the young people must understand, implicitly, that you are in charge.

This is very easy to do, but many inexperienced group leaders struggle with this:

  • You are the adult. You have more maturity, understanding, and knowledge than the young people you are working with. Act accordingly.
  • Project quiet self-confidence. If kids are making noise while you are talking to the group, lower your voice. They will quiet down in order to hear you.
  • Keep the kids' well-being front and center. If the kids know that you care about them, they will follow your safety instructions.
  • Model dry ice safety. Discuss dry ice safety before providing the dry ice to the students.

Dry Ice Safety is fun!

Dry Ice Safety? Fun? Dry ice safety means safe disposal. Image licensed under Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0

Running water speeds up sublimation, providing for safe disposal.

It also makes fog. If you like dry ice fog, here are two ideas for cool science projects you can try.

  • Do you think placing it in colored water will make colored fog? How could you find out?
  • Do you think the temperature of the water effects how much fog is produced? How could you find out?

Go to Dry Ice Storage

Go to Dry Ice Suppliers

Go to First Dry Ice Experiments

Return from Dry Ice Safety to Cool Science Projects -- Dry Ice


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