Is Dry Ice Blasting Dangerous?

Is dry ice blasting dangerous?

Dry ice blasting is a highly sought-after and effective non-abrasive cleaning method for commercial and industrial applications. It is a top cleaning choice in the food and medical industry, due to its pressurized air stream and overall effectiveness. While dry ice blasting is easy to learn, environmentally friendly and a pretty safe procedure, there are still a few concerns when it comes to potential dangers in the workspace. At nexAir, we are committed to putting our customers’ and employees’ safety first and continue to educate ourselves and our team on the latest protocols, procedures and issues that could arise with every piece of equipment we use – including dry ice blasting. 


How dangerous could handling dry ice be? 


Dry ice in general can be a dangerous element, due to its extremely cold temperatures and ability to burn the skin and eyes. When handling dry ice, it is important to approach it with caution and with the correct protective gear. The same goes for dry ice blasting. One of the biggest concerns with dry ice blasting is the mishandling of not only the ice itself but the equipment as well. Along with that, dry ice is a form of carbon dioxide, meaning that it can also be dangerous when inhaled. People who are around it for a period of time can experience shortness of breath, headaches and dizziness. Other potential dangers with dry ice blasting such as the loose pellets, sound exposure and dust can all be worked around and prevented if approached with caution. Here are some of our tips to follow when dry ice blasting to allow you and your team to continue to Forge Forward in every project you tackle. 


Safety Precautions Before, During and After Dry Ice Blasting


  • Always wear your personal protective gear. Eye protection, ear protection and gloves are required at all times when handling dry ice and dry ice blasting equipment. Not only should the operator keep this on before and during blasting, but every person standing within the blasting area should wear this protective gear as well. While this is an industry safety protocol, it is always in your best interest to wear the gear to prevent possible injuries and dangerous exposure to the substances that you are dealing with.
  • Inspect equipment before and after using for damage that may cause problems while handling. Make sure you have someone thoroughly inspect each piece of equipment for cracks, breaks or loose parts ahead of time so the job goes smoothly from the start! 
  • Make sure all hoses are securely tightened before use. 
  • Dry ice pellets are released at high pressurized levels and could seriously injure someone if hit. Never aim the dry ice nozzle where other people are standing and always be aware of pellets being deflected off of the objects that are being cleaned. 
  • Never disconnect the hose while the air source is still turned on. Make sure everything is turned off before disassembling. 


While dry ice blasting is a great cleaning method, accidents can happen. It is important to be aware of problems that could arise ahead of time. That way, you can be prepared on what to do if something were to occur. At nexAir, we take safety extremely seriously and always want our employees and customers to feel as safe as possible while on the job. If you have any questions or concerns with the equipment and products that you are, or will be, handling, please reach out to us – we would love to help you. As always, thank you for choosing nexAir as your go-to gas supplier, and information source. Let’s continue to Forge Forward – together! 

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