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16.10.3 Handling Cryogenic Materials on Elevators

There is typically little or no fresh air supplied inside of elevators. Cryogenic materials displace air. To avoid a situation in which there is insufficient breathable air, the following are expected in Cornell buildings:

  1. Quantities up to 5 liters of a cryogenic material are acceptable to travel in an elevator accompanied by people.
  2. Quantities greater than 5 liters of cryogenic material must be transported on an elevator unaccompanied as it travels between floors. Do NOT transport a pressurized container in an elevator with any person/s in the elevator car.
  • Transport in a freight elevator, if possible.
  • Post a sign on the vessel in the elevator reading “DO NOT ENTER – CRYOGEN ASPHYXIATION HAZARD” to warn potential passengers.
  • Have another person available on the receiving floor to take the container off the elevator at its destination.
  • Beware of tipping the vessel while moving on or off the elevator. This is especially important of uncapped dewars of liquid nitrogen.
    • Wear insulated cryogen safety gloves, safety goggles, long shirt, and long pants without cuffs. Wear footwear that will not soak in the liquid in case of a spill (e.g. leather instead of woven mesh).
    • In case of a spill of any quantity on an elevator:
      • Press the button to stop at the nearest floor;
      • Block the elevator door open so that it doesn't move to the next floor;
      • Call 607-255-1111 from a cell phone or 911 from a campus phone.