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Dry ice: The dangerous TikTok trend you should avoid this Halloween

Halloween concept with pumpkin lantern & smoky the effect of dry ice on darkness background
Dry Ice, often used for Halloween decor or in cocktails, can be really dangerous. (Getty Images)

Spooky season is here, which means it’s time to dress up in our scariest outfits and give pumpkin carving our best effort. And while you may want to go all-out with your Halloween decorations this year, there’s one trend that you should consider avoiding: dry ice.

Dry ice is often used to create a misty Halloween landscape or to create a potion-style effect pouring out of your punch bowl.

With Halloween on the horizon, dry ice as a decoration is taking off on TikTok too, with the hashtag amassing over 10 million views on the platform.

However, experts are warning that it can be dangerous if not handled correctly and can even cause serious injuries.

"Using dry ice safely without damaging your home and your own health involves following proper handling procedures and safety precautions," Bryan Levato, director of Spin & Shake says.

"If not dealt with correctly, it could result in some health issues such as frostbite, asphyxiation, burns, skin and eye irritation, as well as damage to your property and even an explosion risk."

Green spooky Halloween cocktail drink in dark kitchen with fog, skull and pumpkin jack o’ lantern
Dry ice should not be consumed. (Getty Images)

However, if dry ice is at the top of your Halloween decor agenda - don’t stress. Lovato says there are some steps to use dry ice properly.

Some of his top do’s and don’ts for handling dry ice include:

Dry ice dos

  • DO: Keeping car windows open when transporting it from a shop to your home to aid ventilation.

  • DO: Buy it close to when you need it as you can lose five to 10lbs of it per day.

  • DO: Store it in a cool and well-ventilated area such as a well-ventilated styrofoam chest, insulated cooler, or a special cooler designed for the storage of dry ice.

  • DO: Place the dry ice on a towel when in use, avoiding direct contact with any surfaces.

  • DO: Protect sensitive items by covering or removing them from the area where the dry ice is being used.

  • DO: Keep dry ice out of reach from kids and pets.

  • DO: Keep windows open in your home if using dry ice indoors. Excessive carbon dioxide in an enclosed space can be harmful and could result in serious illness and even asphyxiation.

  • DO: Use a pair of tongs if you are adding dry ice to drinks. And wait five minutes for the ‘smoke’ to stop before consuming.

  • DO: Dispose of dry ice by submerging it in a bucket of water so that it melts away.

Dry ice don’ts

  • DON’T: Store dry ice in an airtight space like a fridge or freezer as it can result in an explosion from carbon dioxide release.

  • DON’T: Put the dry ice container in direct contact with kitchen counters, tiled surfaces, wood, paint or plastics as the low temperature can break it.

  • DON’T: Consume dry ice, it is not edible. Avoid putting it in your Halloween drinks.

  • DON’T: Make skin contact with dry ice as it can cause burns or frostbite.

  • DON’T: Use think of fragile glassware as this can shatter.

  • DON’T: Dispose of dry ice in a sink, toilet or other drain as it can destroy them.

"If you still don’t feel comfortable using dry ice in your punch, cocktails or as a general decorative feature this Halloween, there are alternatives to use such as smoke Infusion," Lovato explains.

"You can create a smoky effect by using a smoking gun or smoker box. These devices allow you to infuse your drink with smoke from wood chips or other aromatic materials, often adding a unique aroma to your home and flavour to your drinks."

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