Is smoke , fog, mist etc safe for actors and audiences?
Illuminati takes the safety of everyone very seriously. That is why we have conducted extensive surveys of all the possible effects of atmospheric effects inhalation on everybody who might be exposed to it. This is not a rigourourous scientific trial with double blind test or anything, but a reasoned and experienced look at the likelihood and possibilities of these effects.
Potential damage from Atmospheric effects might fall into four categories
1) Choking or poisoning, effects on the lungs and health: Possible damage to vocal chords or other performance tools
There are some concerns that over-exposure to glycols or mineral oils might have some lomg term effect, although typical exposures that an actor or technician might undergo are much smaller than the recommended maximum.
Various documents published by the Standards group at ESTA
"Safety Issues for Glycol/Glycerol Water-Based Atmospheric Effects" can be downloaded here
When large amounts of gaseous nitrogen or carbon Dioxide are added to an enclosed room or theatre, it is possible to displace or dilute the room’s oxygen and create an unsafe environment for workers and audience members. This condition is called Oxygen Deficiency Hazard (ODH) and every effects application must be evaluated with this concern in mind. OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires that the atmosphere contain at least 19.5% of oxygen.
Occasions when this can happen might include persons working in an understage basement area when the CO2 produced by dry ice effects being used on the stage above falls through a crack in the floor and fills up the room below displacing the normal oxygen. Another possibility is filling up an orchestra pit. The effects of this can be dizzyness, panting, fainting and possibly leading to death through suffocation.
Another possibility which might create an ODH is the use of LN2 ( Liquid Nitrogen) cloud burst effects in confined spaces.
3) Burns and scalds
Dry Ice is very cold with a surface temperature of -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit (-78.5 degrees C). Handling this directly can cause a cold burn. Conversly, the boiling water used to create the effect can obviouly cause scalding.
4) Knock-on problems caused directly or indirectly by the exposure to atmospheric effects.
This might include falling off the edge of the stage after getting lost in the fog, or a combat in heavy haze can result in an unfortunate sword strike.