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Published on Dec 29, 2016
According to some reports, there are over 3,200 indoor ice arenas in Canada and approximately 1,800 in the United States. These indoor facilities provide a year round place for people to enjoy ice skating and compete in sports. As with all buildings, the air quality of an indoor ice arena is important for the health and safety of guests and employees.
The following information is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on this topic:
In enclosed ice arenas, a primary source of indoor air concerns is the release of combustion pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM) into the indoor air from the exhaust of fuel-fired ice resurfacers.
• Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and poisonous gas. Low levels can cause shortness of breath, mild nausea and mild headaches, and may have longer term effects on health. At moderate levels, people can get severe headaches, become dizzy, mentally confused, nauseated or faint. At high levels, CO can cause unconsciousness or death.
• Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a toxic gas. It acts mainly as an irritant affecting the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract. It may also cause shortness of breath. Low level exposure may cause increased bronchial reactivity in some asthmatics, decreased lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and increased risk of respiratory infections, especially in young children. Continued exposure to high NO2 levels can contribute to the development of acute or chronic bronchitis. Extremely high dose exposures can cause pulmonary edema.
• Particulate matter (PM) is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. Particle pollution is made up of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Once inhaled, particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects.
These are just a few things to know about some potential air quality issues that may be present in indoor ice arenas. To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, environmental, health, safety or occupational issues, please visit the websites shown below.