- Associated Press - Saturday, January 31, 2015

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - Air quality in Minnesota ice arenas is heavily regulated, and enforcers of the law say the strict rules have prevented accidents similar to one in Wisconsin that sent 80 people to hospitals in December after exposure to carbon monoxide.

The Mankato Free Press reported (https://bit.ly/1ySTDvW ) the Minnesota Department of Health regulates air quality in ice arenas that use combustion engine powered equipment like ice resurfacers and ice edgers. The 201 ice arenas that use that type of equipment have to run tests and keep logs.

Because of those regulations, the department said, there’s been just one incident in the past five years in which someone received medical treatment due to ice arena air quality.

“The best air quality you’re going to find in ice arenas anywhere is in Minnesota,” said John Olson, enforcement coordinator for the department’s indoor ice arena rule compliance program. “People should feel good and safe about going in and using them.”

Minnesota was the first state to pass rules to protect people from exposure to exhaust emissions in ice arenas. The state enacted its first rule in 1973, and has updated it, with the latest revision in 2013.

The department requires arenas to take carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide measurements twice a week when fuel-powered ice resurfacers are used. Arenas must take measurements at least once a week after using fuel-burning ice edgers.

Arenas that use electric-powered equipment don’t have to test or keep logs.

The department also submits arenas to random compliance inspections.


Information from: The Free Press, https://www.mankatofreepress.com

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