Characterization of air quality problems in five Finnish indoor ice arenas

J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 1997 Oct;47(10):1079-86.


The air quality in five Finnish ice arenas with different volumes, ventilation systems, and resurfacer power sources (propane, gasoline, electric) was monitored during a usual training evening and a standardized, simulated ice hockey game. The measurements included continuous recording of carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations, and sampling and analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Emissions from the ice resurfacers with combustion engines caused indoor air quality problems in all ice arenas. The highest 1-hour average CO and NO2 concentrations ranged from 20 to 33 mg/m3 (17 to 29 ppm) and 270 to 7440 micrograms/m3 (0.14 to 3.96 ppm), respectively. The 3-hour total VOC concentrations ranged from 150 to 1200 micrograms/m3. The highest CO and VOC levels were measured in the arena in which a gasoline-fueled resurfacer was used. The highest NO2 levels were measured in small ice arenas with propane-fueled ice resurfacers and insufficient ventilation. In these arenas, the indoor NO2 levels were about 100 times the levels measured in ambient outdoor air, and the highest 1-hour concentrations were about 20 times the national and World Health Organization (WHO) health-based air quality guidelines. The air quality was fully acceptable only in the arena with an electric resurfacer. The present study showed that the air quality problems of indoor ice arenas may vary with the fuel type of resurfacer and the volume and ventilation of arena building. It also confirmed that there are severe air quality problems in Finnish ice arenas similar to those previously described in North America.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Skating*