Thursday, December 4, 2008

Zamboni Inhalation Risks

Zamboni: originally developed by Frank Zamboni in '49, registered as an international trademark, it is nonetheless used as a generic colloquialism for ice resurfacing vehicles in ice hockey arenas. Think of a giant ride-on lawn mower that melts the ice and then squeegees it smooth, using an internal combustion engine for power both to move & melt. They can slice your fingers off. [well, duh]. They can scare the bejeepers out of small children by leaving a bloody trail of crimson transmission fluid on the ice. They can become runaway weapons of vehicular mayhem if controlled by a vodka-swilling driver. When will society wise up to the inherent dangers of the seemingly innocent Zamboni? From the CBC comes yet another story of Zamboni baloney: Public health officials in Quebec City are alerting people who attended a weekend hockey tournament in Portneuf to be vigilant about any breathing problems, after a Zamboni used at the event emitted toxic fumes. Seven people were sent to hospital with chest pains and breathing problems after playing hockey at the St. Ubalde arena rink on Sunday. Two of them are still in intensive care, while another is suffering from a build-up of liquid in the lungs. Health officials suspect the patients inhaled nitrogen-oxide emitted by a Zamboni machine with an improperly calibrated motor, operating in an arena that wasn't very well ventilated. IAQ: Electric surfacers: apparently they leave the ice harder & players happier Problems in hockey rinks (esp. PM2.5): What's more, 14 per cent also tested higher than 100,000 particles of pollution per cubic centimetre, roughly the equivalent of the air quality that might be experienced standing next to Toronto's Highway 401, the busiest road in the country. --- parts per cubic centimeter? I realize the US (and industrial hygienists are even worse than most American scientists) is pretty oblivious to the whole concept of S.I. units or 'metric'. But why not ppm? or even per cubic meter (like us)? Guarding: Chop off kid's fingers Powered Industrial Trucks: ZUI: zamboni under the influence Totally unrelated to health, but really cool photos: looks like the zamboni ran over a penguin:

No comments: