Skip to main content

Developed and maintained by the NFCC

Control measure

Personal protective equipment (PPE): Cryogenic materials

Control measure knowledge

This control measure should be read in conjunction with Personal protective equipment: Hazardous materials.

Cryogenic materials will remain extremely cold after they have been released. Due to the extremely low temperatures at which they are stored it will take some time before sufficient energy is absorbed from the surroundings to increase the temperature of the released liquid and vapour to a level at which they no longer present a hazard.

The cryogenic material may have harmful or toxic properties if inhaled, and it is likely to displace oxygen to a sufficiently low level that the atmosphere presents an asphyxiation hazard for emergency responders.

Personnel entering the hazard area should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that is appropriate for the conditions (i.e. extremes of cold and hot, reduced oxygen levels and potentially flammable environments).

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Provide procedures and support arrangements regarding the hazards that may be encountered and actions to take where there is a release of cryogenic materials

  • Provide access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE) suitable for use in cold conditions and in reduced oxygen environments

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Select the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE), taking advice from specialist advisors (e.g. on-site personnel, hazardous materials advisor (HMA))

  • Identify the presence of on-site gloves and other PPE for protection against cryogenic materials