Dry ice is a hazardous material that has considerable regulations for shipment associated with it. The guidelines determine the procedure to handle dry ice supply and its transportation in an effective manner.
- Training Requirements
Government rules require anyone associated with medical dry ice transport to undergo thorough training, as they will be handling hazardous material. If you are about to ship dry ice, you need to go through proper training procedures to manage the content effectively. Shipping regulations change frequently, and hence, the workers involved will need the training to keep up-to-date and also to renew certification. You can only conduct dry ice shipments once you are certified.
- Hazard Identification
Dry ice is considered by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as a class 9 hazardous material. There are three reasons because of which it is deemed hazardous:
- Explosion Hazard: Dry ice releases a large amount of CO2 as it sublimates. If the packaged container does not allow the gas to be released, it may explode and cause potential damage to lives or property.
- Suffocation Hazard: As there is a lot of gas emitted in dry ice sublimation, improper handling of dry ice can lead to these gases suffocating the workers around it.
- Contact Hazard: This material is a hazardous risk because it can cause frostbite when exposed to skin.
Shipping Dry Ice Supply
Once you decide to become involved in the dry ice supply industry, you need to follow certain steps to aid you in effectively transporting the hazardous material.
- Dry Ice Procurement
You can obtain dry ice from local suppliers, including grocery stores or bigger stores. It is available in different sizes and shapes ranging from pellets to blocks or little bullets, depending on the requirements of the client. It is relatively inexpensive, and the more you buy in bulk, the lower the cost will be.
- Dry Ice Handling
You need to be very careful when handling dry ice and involved in medical dry ice transportation, as the extreme temperature can cause physical harm. Handlers need to wear goggles for eye safety, special handling gloves for hands, and unique bibs that ensure the dry ice does not spill onto the clothes. Anyone involved in dry ice supply must receive proper training for handling and managing the transportation of it safely and effectively.
- Dry Ice Storage
Once the dry ice supply has arrived, and the handling is done, special containers are used to store the ice effectively. Never use airtight containers as the gas released during sublimation will cause the material to become explode and cause damage. Dry ice containers have individual ducts that help release gases to keep it under control. Similarly, do not place dry ice in glass containers as the gas buildup will cause them to break.
Packing with Dry Ice
Make sure that there are optimal temperatures present for medical dry ice transport whenever you are ready to pack them. EPS foam container packaging is effective due to its insulating properties, but still, the dry ice must be then placed inside a sturdy cardboard box. If there are any other contents present in the box, make sure they do not touch the ice in any way.
The purpose of dry ice is to keep the contents cold; it should not touch the materials because it can do considerable damage to them. As with the storage, never seal the box as gas will build up and cause damage to both the container and contents. The vapours need to escape, so go light with taping the container. Once you have your dry ice supply secured, make sure you use vehicles meant specifically for dry ice transport, to deliver the contents as instructed by the client.