Braley calling for air monitoring of indoor ice rinks - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Braley calling for air monitoring of indoor ice rinks

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

Representative Bruce Braley has joined a group of concerned parents to call for the Iowa Legislature to pass a law requiring the installation of air monitoring equipment at indoor ice rinks.

Braley cited media reports that have drawn attention to incidents across the country where kids have become sick after being exposed to high levels of gases such as carbon monoxide.

Last fall, several kids in Des Moines were sent to the hospital after being exposed to carbon monoxide at a local rink.

"Smoke detectors are required in Iowa homes and carbon monoxide detectors are almost as common," Braley said in a written statement. "Yet, there is no requirement for carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in ice rinks where levels of toxic fumes can reach dangerous levels.  It shouldn't take people getting sick and children going to the hospital to realize there's a dangerous situation at hand. Air monitoring detectors should be standard equipment in Iowa ice rinks. It's an inexpensive, common sense way to keep our kids safe and give parents peace of mind."

Three states, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, currently regulate air quality at indoor ice rinks.

Braley cited an ESPN report in April 2009 that said nearly 200 people were sickened by carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, or other harmful emissions at indoor ice arenas during the six months prior to the report.

Braley sent the following letter to state legislative leaders and the Iowa Governor requesting action on the issue.  

February 23, 2012

The Honorable Terry Branstad, Governor of Iowa
State Capitol
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319

The Honorable Michael E. Gronstal, Majority Leader Iowa Senate
Second Floor, State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319

The Honorable Jerry Behn, Minority Leader Iowa Senate
Second Floor, State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319

The Honorable Kraig Paulsen, Speaker Iowa House of Representatives
Second Floor, State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319

The Honorable Kevin M. McCarthy, Minority Leader Iowa House of Representatives
Second Floor, State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319

Dear Governor Branstad, Majority Leader Gronstal, Minority Leader Behn, Speaker Paulsen, and Minority Leader McCarthy,

I am writing today to urge you to enact legislation requiring the installation of air quality monitoring devices in Iowa's indoor ice arenas. Recent news reports have shown numerous instances around the country of children getting sick as a result of poor air quality in indoor arenas. Just last year, young hockey players in Urbandale, IA were sent to the hospital as a result of poor air quality in the rink where they were practicing.

At the height of hockey season, we must work to ensure the safety of these facilities. Over the past week, I've had the opportunity to visit with ice rink managers, children and families in Waterloo, Davenport, Dubuque and Cedar Rapids to discuss the issue of ice rink safety. In every place, I've seen managers working to ensure the safety of their facility, and I have faith that they have the best interests of their customers in mind. However, with no state guidelines, air quality monitoring and safety is inconsistent across the state as a whole.

I urge you to work together to enact legislation requiring monitoring of air quality in indoor ice rinks to reassure Iowa families that the facilities where they go for recreation are safe. Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island have enacted similar laws to ensure the safety of these facilities in their states. We have a responsibility to Iowa families to assure the safety of our children.

I appreciate your consideration of this request, and thank you for your continued work on behalf of Iowans.

Sincerely,

Bruce Braley
Member of Congress

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