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Indoor Ice Arenas and What Skaters and Employees Could be Breathing

EMSL Analytical provides a wide range of indoor air quality testing services and monitoring instruments to identify airborne pollutants.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

n the United States and Canada there are approximately 5,000 indoor ice arenas. These facilities provide a year round place for people to enjoy skating and compete in sports. However, as with all buildings, the indoor air quality (IAQ) is important for the health and safety of guests and employees and some facilities could be exposing people to elevated levels of airborne pollutants.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides information about potential IAQ issues at enclosed ice arenas. The agency reports that 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) from the exhaust of fuel-fired ice resurfacers. These airborne pollutants are described as follows: 

  • Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and poisonous gas. Low levels can cause shortness of breath, mild nausea and 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 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 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 the particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems.

 "Indoor ice arenas can provide unique challenges for facility managers and owners when it comes to controlling potentially harmful airborne pollutants,” said Jody Thomason, Vice President of Products/Corporate Purchasing for EMSL Analytical, Inc. “This can be especially true when older or improperly maintained ice resurfacers are in use. At EMSL, we provide comprehensive air testing services and monitoring equipment to identify particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and other areas of concern that could be found in these types of facilities.”

EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about ice arenas and indoor air quality that can be seen at:

For more information about air quality testing services and monitoring instruments, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 indoor air quality
 carbon monoxide
 nitrogen dioxide
 toxic gas

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