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Parks Chief: No Carbon Monoxide at Local Indoor Ice Rinks


SILVER SPRING, MD—NBC’s The Today Show this week aired a segment on “Hidden Dangers at Indoor Ice Rinks” pointing to the lack of carbon monoxide detectors at local ice rinks and fuel powered ice resurfacer machines as hazardous for patrons.

The Montgomery County Department of Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) operates two indoor ice rinks in the county’s parks system: Wheaton Ice Arena and the Cabin John Ice Rink through its Enterprise Division.  

A statement by Montgomery County Department of Parks Enterprise Division Chief Christine Brett follows:

“Both the Cabin John Ice Rink and Wheaton Ice Arena are equipped with sensors that monitor and detect carbon monoxide (CO2) levels in the facilities. These detectors take readings twenty four hours a day to ensure that the air quality in these facilities stay at acceptable levels. These levels are measured in parts per million (PPM).  In the event that these levels rise above 25 PPM, the detector sends a signal to our dehumidification units, which floods the facility with fresh outside air. Regular maintenance is performed on the dehumidification units to make sure that the amount and quality of air being brought into the facilities is appropriate and acceptable.

“Carbon monoxide is introduced into the air at these facilities by ice maintenance equipment, such as Zambonis and ice edgers. We use fuel-powered Zambonis. We have explored electric Zambonis in the past however they were not adequate to meet the needs. Our practice is to only perform maintenance with ice edgers when no one else is in the rink except for the operator of that equipment—early morning before the rink opens or late night after it closes.

“We will continue to explore battery powered options for ice maintenance. In addition to take every precaution, we are purchasing handheld detection devices for use at both rinks.

“To date, we have had no reported cases of illnesses from carbon monoxide at either of our ice rinks.”

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