How much pollution do ice rinks produce?



  1. 0 Votes

    A considerable amount. Ice rinks are energy intensive because of the cooling equipment needed to maintain the ice cover on the ground, and particularly emissions from the machines (Zambonis) which are used to resurface the ice. The environmental impact of ice rinks has recently begun to gain visibility, largely centered around the issue of indoor air quality. In early 2009, incidents at ice rinks where visitors were taken to the hospital for issues related to air quality prompted ESPN to do a study of ice rink air quality. The results were alarming, and ESPN highlighted the fact that there are not many regulations in place to control indoor air quality at ice arenas–where thousands of children ice skate or play hockey, and where thousands of fans gather to watch hockey games. For economic reasons ice rink owners are investigating methods to reduce their costs, especially in the nature of energy expenditures; for example, keeping an ice surface only one degree warmer can save 6% a year in energy costs. Attention has also been given to the emissions of Zambonis and similar equipment, most of which burn diesel fuel or propane. For example, at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, only electric-powered Zambonis will be used to resurface the ice.

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