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Firing Up the Fog Machine–Safely!

Posted on October 29, 2013
by Wendy Stackhouse
Foggy cauldron
Foggy cauldron

It’s almost Halloween and if you decorate your house to scare the trick-or-treaters on Thursday, you might be using a fog machine to add to the creepiness. Do you worry about how it affects your air?

There are basically two substances that can be used to produce artificial fog:

Dry Ice:

When dry ice melts, it becomes carbon dioxide gas, which is harmless to breathe. This type of fog stays close to the ground and works well for creating a fun cemetery display. There are fog machines that use dry ice–basically fans to blow the fog into the area where you want it. You can get dry ice at stores which sell bulk foods for caterers and similar items or at ice manufacturers.

The only danger of dry ice is touching it with your bare skin–it can cause burns. Use gloves to handle dry ice at all times!

Fog Juice or Fog Fluid:

A combination of water and glycol is used to create fog in most fog machines. The mixture is not dangerous, but you do need to pay attention if people with asthma or other respiratory sensitivities are going to be exposed to the fog.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions and use the fluid they recommend. Avoid “overfogging” and use the machine either outside or in a well ventilated area.

Keep in mind that breathing in any visible gas has a psychological effect–our brains sense danger! This is a good leftover from prehistoric days, but can cause people with asthma to become anxious, which in itself could cause an asthma event.

And of course try to avoid breathing in the fog for long periods of time. It’s not clean air, even if it isn’t inherently dangerous.

Fog is fun! And Halloween is one of our favorite holidays! We’d love to see your costumes! Send us a photo and we will post it on our Facebook Page!


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