Fall River, MA (PressExposure) December 29, 2011 -- Earlier this week the Today show aired a segment titled, "Hidden Dangers of Indoor Ice Rinks," exposing the potential risks of inhaling hazards like carbon monoxide (CO) for the users of the estimated 8,500 ice rinks across the United States and Canada. The source of this poisoning? Usually it's the fuel-fired ice resurfacing machines used to keep the ice clean and smooth, but can also be attributed to malfunctioning equipment used to keep the rinks cold.
In recent years there have been several incidents of athletes and spectators at indoor ice arenas falling ill by way of inhaling these toxic fumes. In Clearwater, Fla. earlier this month, 23 children and adults were sickened and six were treated at a local hospital after a malfunctioning dehumidifier filled the space with CO, as reported by http://www.tampabay.com. And, according to Reuters, in February of this year, in Gunnison, Colo., 61 people at a youth girls' hockey tournament were poisoned, likely from a buildup of CO from ice resurfacing machine, the local fire marshal said. In response to these incidents, Apollo Safety is offering CO solutions for rink owners and managers at http://www.apollogassafety.com.
"Too often we learn of near disasters, near death experiences, and unfortunately death from carbon monoxide poisoning," said John V. Carvalho III, president and CEO of Apollo Safety. "More often than not these tragedies could have been avoided with inexpensive CO devices readily available from professional gas detection suppliers and gas monitor calibration. Don't let your family, customers or workers suffer to this end."
Carbon monoxide is a combustion pollutant and is produced when fuels such as gasoline, propane or diesel is burned to power, for example, ice resurfacing machines. Because CO is odorless, tasteless, and invisible it is impossible to detect without a CO detector. At low levels of CO, a person would experience headache, nausea, dizziness, and confusion. It is critical to find fresh air immediately and seek medical attention, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
While there are no federal regulations requiring indoor air monitoring equipment for ice arenas, the EPA has increased its emissions standards for all new fuel-burning ice resurfacers greatly reducing the amount of toxic gas emissions by these machines. Additionally, the EPA lists recommendations for owners and managers of these facilities to keep the level of these toxins down, such as providing adequate ventilation, replacing older equipment, warming up resurfacing vehicles in a well ventilated room, and establishing a system of monitoring air quality, according to http://www.epa.gov/iaq/icearenas.html.
At this time only three states, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Minnesota, have strict regulations regarding indoor air quality of ice arenas. These laws require that rink owners and operators using combustible resurfacing equipment keep logs of air samples taken at least three times per week and with what type of monitor used and a record of when the monitor had last been calibrated. Additionally, the log must contain maintenance records for the ice resurfacing equipment used in the rink. (Mass. Law 105 CMR 675.00, R.I. Law [R23-1-18-IAQ], Minn. Law 4620.3900)
Owners and managers of these facilities have options when it comes to which type of CO monitoring device to use to ensure the safety of its patrons. A stationary monitoring system is physically installed by a professional technician and monitors the entire arena. Portable monitors are hand-held devices that users can carry with them and can take CO readings at specific areas within the space.
Industrial Scientific manufactures both stationary and portable monitors and are available through Apollo Safety.
The Industrial Scientific Gas Badge Plus personal gas alarm is a compact, lightweight option that can be carried around and features both an alarm and vibration to alert the user to unsafe levels of CO. As for stationary monitoring of CO, the i-Trans fixed-point gas monitor from Industrial Scientific and is equipped with optional on-board relays that can operate as stand-alone monitors, activate alarms, horns or fans in response to elevated levels of CO. The i-Trans also features a bright LED display, programmable alarms, and on-board sensor life indicators and is available through http://www.apollogassafety.com.
Making decisions regarding the safety of customers are important and asking questions about which type of device is right for each situation is imperative. Finding and using an experienced gas detection firm can make the difference between life and death.
Apollo Safety is the leading safety and technical services equipment provider in New England and serving by courier across the United States and internationally. A veteran-owned small business by John and Tracy Carvalho, Apollo Safety is a trusted safety provider, carrying a full line of quality products and tools needed for work in hazardous environments.