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Skip Navigation LinksPennsylvania Department of Health > My Health > Environmental Health > Environmental Fact Sheets > Ice Skating Rink Resurfacing Machine


Episodes of intoxication by either carbon monoxide (CO) or nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) in indoor ice arenas have been documented in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Canada, and other parts of the world.  In order to assist the operators of indoor ice skating arenas in providing a safe and appropriate indoor air quality for the skaters and spectators at these facilities, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has published the following guidelines.
These guidelines are intended to assist owners and operators of indoor ice-skating rinks that utilize combustion resurfacing equipment powered by gas, propane, or other combustible fuels that produce exhaust containing carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide.
1.  Air Monitoring.  Operators of indoor skating rinks which utilize combustion resurfacing equipment should take regular air samples of both carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide within their skating rinks as follows:
(a)  An air sample for both carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide should be taken at least three times a week, including at least twice during the week and at least once during weekend operations.
(b)  All air samples should be taken twenty minutes after resurfacing is completed.
(c)  All air samples should be taken no sooner than four hours before, and no later than one hour before the end of the last scheduled use of the ice in any given day.
(d)  All air samples should be taken either at center ice or the perimeter of the ice surface at the center ice line at a height of three to six feet above the ice surface.
2.  Record Keeping.  The Department of Health recommends that operators should keep a record-keeping log, which has on its cover the name of the skating rink, the name of the skating rink owners, the name of the skating rink operator and in large print the words, �Air Quality Record Keeping Log�.  The owner/operator of the arena should post a notice in a readily accessible location to the public stating that air is monitored routinely for CO and NO 2. Upon reasonable request, the record-keeping log will be available for review to appropriate parties, including but not limited to, governmental officials, school officials, league/association officials, referees, users of the arena, parents of users, or arena employees.
(a)  The record-keeping log should be divided into two sections, one section for the recording of information regarding the ice-resurfacing equipment and a separate section for the recording of the results of recommended air sampling.
(b)  The operator should record and keep in the section of the record-keeping log reserved for information about the ice-resurfacing equipment the following information:  name of the manufacturer of the resurfacing equipment; age of the resurfacing equipment; type(s) of fuel(s) used to operate the resurfacing equipment; dates of each tuning of the resurfacing equipment, with the name, company, address and signature of the person performing the tuning; the manufacturer, type and date of installation of the catalytic converter equipment; the name, company address and signature of the person who installed the catalytic converter; and the name, company, address and signature of the person performing the repairs or maintenance.
(c)  DOH recommends that the operator record and keep in the section of the record-keeping log reserved for information about air sampling, the following information:  the date, location and exact time of each and every air sample and follow-up air sample taken pursuant to these guidelines, measured in parts per million (ppm) of each air contaminant and the name and method of the device used to take each sample as well as the name and signature of the person performing the test; a full description of the immediate and long term correction measures employed by the operator to reduce carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels below the action air levels (see #3 below), including the dates and times such measurements were taken, and the person(s) responsible; the last date of calibration of the air monitoring device used by the operator and the person performing the calibration; and the lot number of the colorimetric tube or computer chip sampling device.
3.  Action Air Levels for Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide.  Corrective action should be taken in the event that a single air sample exceeds the one hour maximum of twenty (20) parts per million (ppm) for carbon monoxide and of 0.25 ppm for nitrogen dioxide.
4.  Acute or Immediate Corrective Measures. 
(a)  The operator should immediately take steps to increase the ventilation in the indoor skating rink through any appropriate and safe means, and should continue to ventilate the indoor skating rink at above normal rates or through extraordinary means.  Increased ventilation should continue until such time as a subsequent air sample taken by the operator reveals that air levels of carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide are below the correction air levels. 
(b)  The operator should take one or more follow-up air samples, in intervals of twenty minutes or less, after the taking of any sample which had revealed an exceedance of the corrective air levels.  Sampling should continue until such time as a follow-up air sample reveals that the air level of the contaminant(s) for which there was an exceedance have been reduced below the corrective air levels. 
(c)  The operator should record the results of each follow-up air sample in the Record Keeping Log.
5.  Additional Preventive Measures.  The operator should, as soon as reasonably practical, take one or more of the following steps to eliminate the problem which resulted in an exceedance of the correction air levels of these guidelines and to prevent any future exceedances of these levels:
(a)  Increase ventilation (rate of exchange of outdoor/indoor air) at the skating rink;
(b)  Begin warming up ice resurfacing equipment outside the building;
(c)  Install a local exhaust system in the area where the ice resurfacing equipment is warmed up to vent exhaust to the outside;
(d)  Retune or repair the ice resurfacing equipment and then continue to regularly retune and repair the equipment as recommended by the manufacturer;
(e)  Reduce edging time;
(f)  Replace the ice resurfacing equipment with equipment having lower emissions;
(g)  Install a vertical exhaust pipe, the top end of which protrudes above the highest point of the ice resurfacing equipment;
(h)  Install a catalytic converter on the resurfacing equipment;
(i)  Install an oxygen sensor in the ice resurfacing equipment to regulate fuel leanness or richness;
(j)  Decrease resurfacing schedule to reduce amount of exhaust gases emitted;
(k)  Convert existing ice resurfacing equipment to electric power or acquire replacement electrically powered ice resurfacing equipment; and/or
(l)  Take other action that has the effect of reducing or helping reduce air levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide to acceptable levels.
6.  Recommended Evacuation.  If air levels of carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide exceed the evacuation air levels of 100 ppm for carbon monoxide and/or 2 ppm for nitrogen dioxide, the operator should:
(a)  Immediately evacuate all people from the interior of the indoor skating rink;
(b)  Contact the local fire department as soon as possible to assist in the evacuation of the facility and to assess the hazard.
(i)  Three consecutive air samples taken by the operator within no greater than a three hour period and taken in accordance with the air sampling techniques mentioned above indicate that the air levels of carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide have been reduced below the correction air levels;
(ii)  Appropriate long-term corrective measures have been taken to prevent further exceedance of the correction air levels; and
(iii)  The air levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are found to be below the correction air levels through one or more independent measurements taken by the local fire department, or local health department.
7.  Engine Tuning. A technician familiar with the process should conduct all engine tuning.  Tuning should include emissions testing done while under load.  By signing his name to the record keeping log, the technician should certify that the tuning is consistent with the recommendations of the manufacturer of the resurfacing equipment.
8.  Catalytic Converters. A qualified individual familiar with the resurfacing equipment should do installation of the catalytic converter.  A qualified individual should also do any repair or maintenance work involving the catalytic converter.
9.  Air Monitors. The calibration of in-place or handheld real time monitors should be measured on a monthly schedule or in accordance with current specifications and procedures established by the manufacturer of the monitoring device.  Each calibration should be recorded in the record keeping log as mentioned above.
10. Consultation Available. If there are any questions about these guidelines, please feel free to contact Dr. James Logue or Dr. Cynthia Coventon in our Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology, at (717) 787-1708.