Objectives: The common operation of fuel-powered resurfacing equipment in enclosed ice skating rinks has the potential for producing high concentrations of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Exposures to these gaseous combustion products may adversely affect the health of those inside the rink. Little information is available on pollutant concentrations under normal operating conditions.
Methods: One-week average nitrogen dioxide concentrations in 70 northeastern US rinks were measured with passive samplers during normal winter season conditions.
Results: The median nitrogen dioxide level inside rinks was 180 ppb, more than 10 times higher than the median outdoor concentration. One-week average nitrogen dioxide concentrations above 1000 ppb were measured in 10% of the rinks.
Conclusions: Considering that short-term peak concentrations were likely to have reached two to five times the measured 1-week averages, our results suggest that nitrogen dioxide levels were well above short-term air quality guidelines and constitute a public health concern of considerable magnitude.