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An evaluation of carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations associated with the operation of houseboats equipped with gasoline powered generators.
Hall-R; McCleery-R; Earnest-S; Dunn-K; McCammon-J
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2002 Jun; :80
Investigations performed by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) industrial hygienists have characterized the circumstances of boat related carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings. Incident reports provided by the National Park Service have revealed 130 cases of CO poisoning and 11 known boat-related CO poisoning deaths on Lake Powell since 1994. Several CO surveys have been conducted on houseboats with gasoline powered generators and engines. When gasoline generators are in operation, the area under the swim deck and around the back of the swim platform (near water level) on house- boats that exhaust the combustion gases in the space below or directly behind the back deck are extremely hazardous. The area under the swim deck and around the back of the swim platform (approximately 6-12 inches above the water where individuals could likely be swimming) indicated CO concentrations well above the NIOSH immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) value of 1,200 ppm (CO concentrations were measured up to 10,000 ppm in these areas). These hazardous conditions also exist when the engines are in operation on the boats. Individuals swimming or working in the area under the swim platform, or around the area directly behind the swim platform (with the gasoline generator in operation on houseboats that exhaust the combustion gases in the space below the back deck, or out the back of the deck) could be exposed to extremely high CO concentrations resulting in CO poisoning or death within a short period of time. Engineering controls (i.e., stack exhaust systems and emission control devices) are currently being evaluated. CO concentration results from the engineering control studies indicate reductions greater than 99%.
Industrial-hygienists; Combustion-gases; Occupational-hazards; Hazards; Engineering-controls; Exposure-levels; Exhaust-gases
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California
OH; CO; CA
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division