This article has been written by Dr.Sushma Sharma who is a medical practitioner. We would like to thank her for joining us and sharing her thoughts with the world.
“Smoky drinks” is becoming a visual treat to the visitors in trendy bars or pubs of metropolitan cities today. This visual drama is created by Nitrogen liquid. However nothing in this world is unmixed blessing. In-spite of this how many of you with “Try it out” philosophy is aware of the fact that even one teaspoon of liquid nitrogen can be life threatening.
Technology is a double-edged sword, and it gets even more devastating when handled by ignorant hands.
Recently one of the leading newspapers reported a case where a businessman had to undergo surgical resection of his stomach after he gulped down a cocktail with Liquid nitrogen.
This may be first of the reported case in India but was not of a first case of its own. Earlier in 2012 BBC news had reported a case of complete removal of stomach of a teenager after he downed a drink laced with liquid nitrogen. So, what is exactly is liquid nitrogen, its uses, impact on living tissues and precautions need to be followed.
Liquid Nitrogen Properties
Nitrogen gas in Liquid state is called as Liquid nitrogen. It is also abbreviated as LN2, LIN or LN. LN is colorless, odorless and tasteless liquid which is intensely cold due to an extremely low temperature. It gets converted into gaseous form at -195.790C.
Liquid Nitrogen Uses
- Cryopreservation- Cryopreservation is the science of preserving things like food, biological samples at a very low temperature
- Cryotherapy– Cryotherapy is the removal of abnormal tissue growth at a very low temperature e.g warts, cancerous cells
- Liquid Nitrogen is also used as a Coolant
- Liquid Nitrogen is used in ice-creams ,desert preparation, rapid chilling of glasses in bars and pubs.
How can Liquid Nitrogen be Harmful?
Liquid Nitrogen Handling
- Proper handling and storage is must – Professional training is mandatory, wear safety gloves and goggles
- Wait until complete conversion of liquid into gas before pouring drink
- Avoid coming in contact and inhalation
- Use in well ventilated areas
- Let the nitrogen evaporates into gas before drinking
- Regularize usage of liquid nitrogen
- Last but not the least, avoid drinks with liquid nitrogen as it is not recommended for drinking