It might have seemed like fun at the time – but playing around with liquid nitrogen is no laughing matter – the liquid is a danger and so is the gas too..
I’m sure everyone at the party though it would be fun – but what actually happened was not anything for laughing about. In the video then the reporter says that the problem was caused by the reactions between nitrogen and chlorine (in the pool) – this is not true, nitrogen (just like nitrous oxide is almost non-reactive… so what actually happened?
It looks like most media outlets were mistaken in attributing the danger to a reaction rather than just simply the nitrogen gas itself – read more.
It was much simpler than that – when the nitrogen was added to the water, it immediately boiled… this resulted in a cold layer of nitrogen gas on the surface of the pool. This has two affects..
- Nitrogen is an asphixiant – it is not poisonous but will prevent you from inhaling any oxygen – because your lungs will already be filled with nitrogen – which doesn’t leave any room for anything else.
- The nitrogen gas will be cold (hence why it is used for making nitro ice cream) – so it will cause fogging and condensation when it comes into contact with damp air – ad there is plenty of that around when you are in a swimming pool! The fog itself wasn’t harmful – but it prevented onlookers from seeing the dangers that were in the pool.
So be careful and don’t mess around with nitrogen (gas or liquid) but leave it to the professionals….