The EPA provides strict indoor air quality guidelines for recreational arenas, including ice skating rinks, but unfortunately, not everyone follows them. One writer recently noted that carbon monoxide poisoning is a potential threat for people who visit ice skating rinks that use fuel-fired ice resurfacers and edgers. New machines are electrically powered and do not pose a threat, but there are some indoor ice rinks that use machines fueled with diesel, propane or gasoline.
In addition to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter also pose health risks. Parents should be aware of the signs of poisoning from air pollution if their children frequent these arenas, namely shortness of breath, mild headaches and nausea. These symptoms often mimic flu symptoms, and may be mistaken as such.
Good health starts with indoor air quality. If your children don’t frequent these arenas, it is still important to make sure the air in your own home is clean and safe to breathe. Check out our series, “Filters for Kids,” to learn more about ways to ensure your kids stay healthy with quality furnace filters and air purifiers. And since your children likely spend most of their time at school, it’s important to know what their school is doing to create a healthy environment as well.
Fortunately, we are in the winter season. If you live in a cold climate, you may want to take advantage of an outdoor ice skating arena in your area, while there is still time.