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#1 Posted : 17 March 2022 08:27:55(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Hi Folks. Would any body be able to tell me the BS EN standards for an Apron used to handle liquid nitrogen, or give me an example of a suitable product and supplier?
A Kurdziel  
#2 Posted : 17 March 2022 10:03:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Having worked with liquid nitrogen for years I suspect the reason that you can’t find  a Standard for a cryogenic apron is because there isn’t one and there isn’t one because generally speaking you do not need such protection when handling liquid N2. The occasional splash from liquid N2 is not an issue because of the “Leidenfrost effect”, which simply means that the liquid nitrogen is at -196 C and your skin is at  +30 C so any splash on your skin will almost immediately boil away. A face shield to stop it getting into your eyes is a good idea as are the appropriate gloves. The gloves should have closed cuffs(not gauntlets) and ideally (assuming you are moving Dewars etc) be leather to give a better grip. Liquid nitrogen only posed a direct hazard if  it gets into your clothes (eg inside your gloves) and the “Leidenfrost effect” breaks down. That is when you find detached fingers inside the gloves!

The big issue with liquid nitrogen and other cryogenics is  they cool things like metal fittings , valves and other objects that have  been immersed in the liquified gas. The temperature of these is probably no where near the -196 C of the liquified gas but any object that is chilled to -70 C will cause frost burns. That is where the gloves come in.

No PPE will protect you if you attempt to put you hands into liquid nitrogen.

thanks 3 users thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
peter gotch on 17/03/2022(UTC), Kate on 17/03/2022(UTC), RVThompson on 17/03/2022(UTC)
#3 Posted : 05 May 2022 14:53:14(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Truly sorry for bumping the thread, but having some experience in this, I wanted to add my thoughts to what has been posted already.

When I was working with liquid nitrogen, we did not wear aprons, but the training I deliver on the subject says it is a good idea. The reason is the same as A Kurdziel suggests for the gloves, in that if liquid nitrogen goes into pockets or similar, it would be potentially held in place against the skin or certainly close enough to cause burns.

We used thermal boiler suits, BUT we made sure the pockets were always clipped shut, so no nitrogen could go into them.

We also wore wellington boots (easy to kick off in the event...) and with the thermal boiler suits over the tops of the wellies for similar reasons as above. (Don't like the thought of LN2 between my toes!)

A Kurdziel is absolutely correct that there is no standard for aprons, but I wouldn't want to be wearing one of those thin plastic ones that you rip off when you are done with it.

Finally I would say while using liquid nitrogen, is it any big effort to put on an apron while using it, and could it save you some discomfort in the worst case...?

#4 Posted : 07 May 2022 13:39:30(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

There isn't anything for aprons...gloves is EN511 and from memory I have tried to google it but there is an EIGA document 136 on the seleection of PPE...BCGA CP30 for Dewars gives some of the references..if I find it I will post it here..(EIGA 136 that is  :) 

#5 Posted : 09 May 2022 08:40:49(UTC)
Rank: New forum user

There are plenty of LN2 PPE kits available (apron, face shield, overshoes/boots and gloves). As long as you buy from a reputable seller you should be fine.

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