In lieu of the current COVID19 pandemic, millions of hockey players and other ice skating lovers have turned to the solution of synthetic ice panels in order to create ice skating rinks for themselves in their own homes. As in-home ice skating rinks become more and more popular around the United States people are beginning to ask questions about it. Is synthetic ice toxic? Can it cause problems by emitting toxic fumes? Let’s take a closer look at these questions and see what you think.
Synthetic Ice is Plastic
So, yes synthetic ice is made out of a plastic polymer that could eventually lead to problems by filling up landfills. However, companies are creating synthetic ice panels that are echo friendly that will break down in landfills. Although there are arguments that the process that it takes to create plastic is harmful to the environment, there are return arguments that state that the energy that it takes to run a refrigerator strong enough to keep ice frozen is more toxic than the pollution that comes from the development of synthetic ice.
Synthetic ice is not toxic, nor does it emit any kind of toxic vapor that can be harmful to human beings, animals, or plants. As a matter of fact, more than half a million metric tons of greenhouse emissions are created each year by refrigeration systems that are in place to keep ice frozen enough for ice sports. If you think about it, the electric power that it takes to run a cooling system for long periods of time while the surrounding outside temperatures are over normal room temperature is enough power to cool and heat several homes throughout the year. The actual toxic vapors that are being created are from a refrigerating system, not an already creed ice panel.
The only way that synthetic ice could become toxic is if it were lit on fire. The smoke that comes from the plastic is thick black and considered dangerous. Real ice, on the other hand, when heated turns merely to vaporized water, also known as steam. However, with this in mind, since synthetic ice is mostly built on floorings and not in the upper parts of a structure you are more likely to experience toxic smoke from other substances in the instance of a fire. In the case of an accidental structure fire that had synthetic ice flooring, you would be less likely to suffer from smoke from the synthetic ice. However, if an ice rink burned down, you could be at a higher risk of toxic smoke from the components of the refrigerator that keep the ice cold being burnt up.
Although synthetic ice could get a bad rap from some, it is actually a great way to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions that result in the use of refrigerated ice rinks. Synthetic ice is a great way for skaters to practice staying fit and being active during the lockdown times and the stay-at-home orders. It is important to stay active and healthy so things like synthetic ice, hockey balance boards, and other training activities are essential for health, strength, and skill-building.
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