8. Working with Liquid Nitrogen

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Locations: Tanks containing liquid nitrogen are stored in cold rooms or other approved rooms.

Alarm: The rooms are equipped with an oxygen monitor. An alarm will sound if nitrogen gas displaces the oxygen in the room. Leave the room immediately if the alarm goes off!

Protective equipment: Use a visor and solid, loose-fitting gloves when filling nitrogen and when removing tubes from the nitrogen tank. Wear shoes, not sandals.

Tubes: Use only tubes with screw cap that are designed for storing biological material, at temperatures as low as -180° C.

It is recommended when removing a tube from nitrogen,:

  • immediately open the cryotube lid in order to ease any potential pressure.
  • Transport in a closed polystyrene container.

The danger of explosion is only present in the first few minutes subsequent to removing the tube from the nitrogen tank.

Refill of nitrogen: Follow the routines for each rooms, contact the technical department at Helse-Bergen for assistance.

Transport: The container with nitrogen must be transported alone in the elevator due to the a risk of suffocation. Label the container with name and location.


See the Instructions for workplaces with risk of oxygen depletion or increased levels of carbon dioxide here.