Carbon Monoxide On Houseboats With Uncontrolled Generators ‘is Hazardous’ – Medical News Today

Houseboat generators and dangerous CO levels In the study, researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), along with colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that uncontrolled generators on houseboats routinely emit CO concentrations well above the 1,200 parts per million level that NIOSH defines as immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH). Captain Ronald M. Hall, first author and deputy branch chief in the Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch in the Division of Applied Research and Technology at NIOSH in Cincinnati, Ohio, says: “Houseboats that exhaust uncontrolled generator combustion gases beneath or near the rear deck indicated that extremely hazardous carbon monoxide concentrations can accumulate in that area.” He explains how they found the hazardous conditions were made worse when the drive engines were operating, “placing employees who worked on or around the boats, as well as the boat operators, at risk.” Researchers have identified more than 800 CO poisonings related to recreational boating in the US. The team first began investigating CO emissions on houseboats in 2001, to evaluate the health hazards posed by CO emissions from houseboats following reports of such poisonings on and around houseboats. While CO poisoning associated with indoor exposure has long been recognized, it is not always recognized that severe CO poisoning can also occur outdoors – although such incidents are much rarer, according to the CDC. Epidemiological studies have shown that between 1990 and 2008, there were 309 houseboat-related CO poisonings in the US – 26 of which resulted in death. The majority of these poisonings were directly attributable to generator exhaust. The authors also note: “More than 800 CO poisonings related to recreational boating in the US have been identified, and that number continues to increase.” They employed a range of sampling methods to analyze CO emissions, including emission analyzers, direct-reading monitors, detector tubes and gas chromatography using evacuated containers.
For the original version of this article including any supplementary images or video, visit


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s