Monday, December 26, 2011

Serious Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Risk from Ice Resurfacing Equipment at Indoor Rinks

Hockey is a violent sport. Figure skaters fall hard. But perhaps the greatest danger at the community ice rink is the Zamboni. This morning the NBC Today Show aired some new twists on a story you often see this time of year, about the threat of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning at indoor rinks. One full hour after the ice was resurfaced, instruments recorded high levels of CO and investigators evacuated the building. Click play to watch the video below.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has plainly said, "Do not operate gasoline-powered engines in confined spaces." Electric ice resurfacers have replaced gasoline-powered machines in some communities. Still, there's no substitute for working carbon monoxide detectors and proper ventilation. More data and recommendations in this excellent paper [Occup Environ Med 2002;59:224-233 doi:10.1136/oem.59.4.224] from 2002.

Only three states—Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Rhode Island—regulate air quality at indoor rinks.


  1. Please note: The latest Zamboni model 560AC is an electric machine for emission-free ice resurfacing.