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Cryogenic materials have special properties that make them particularly hazardous to use in the solid, liquid or gaseous states. Cryogenic materials are characterized by severe low temperature (-60oC to -270oC). Most cryogenic liquids are odorless and tasteless when vaporized; however, when exposed to the atmosphere they create a highly visible dense fog that dissipates with warming. Cryogenic temperatures are achieved by liquefaction of gases, most commonly helium, hydrogen, nitrogen, argon, oxygen or methane.
In the case of freezing via contact with Cryogenic Fluids (LN or LA) the water in the cells freezes extremely fast. This process is essentially a quenching process, and thus cell walls do not rupture. The trick to prevent permanent damage in the case of a LN or LA skin freeze is too NOT rub the area. Allow the frozen area to warm up by processes that will not cause intercellular damage. (Author, Michael M. Cheatham, Syracuse University, March 1998.)
(a)- Nontoxic, but can be as an asphyxiant by displacing air needed to support life. As with most chemicals, even harmless materials can be toxic or poisonous if taken in sufficient quantities under the right circumstances.
(c)- °K=273.14°C; 459.69°F
(d)- Shaded rows indicate the seven most commonly used cryogenic gases