NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Computational fluid dynamic modeling of carbon monoxide emissions and exposures on a ski boat.

Earnest G; Dunn K; Mickelsen R; Bennett J
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2004 May; :46
Over the past decade, nearly 500 carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings have been reported on recreational boats in the U.S. This problem has gained increasing attention following the CO-related deaths of two young boys vacationing with their family on a houseboat at Lake Powell, Arizona, in 2000. Many CO-related poisonings have resulted from uncontrolled emissions from gasoline-powered engines used on over 15 million recreational boats in the U.S. In March 2003, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the U.S. Coast Guard sponsored a national workshop on control technologies to prevent CO poisonings on recreational boats. As part of a broad effort to improve understanding of how CO poisonings occur, identify the most hazardous conditions, and prevent future poisonings, NIOSH researchers performed computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling of CO emissions and exposures on ski boats. Fluent 6 software was used to develop the model and solve the Navier-Stokes equations for fluid flow, contaminant transport, and heat transfer. The computational domain consisted of approximately 80,000 cells. Operational parameters such as CO emission rates, exhaust terminus location, boat speed, wind speed, and exhaust location were chosen on the basis of recreational boating field evaluations. Study results indicated that stationary operating conditions are generally the most hazardous; however, hazardous CO concentrations (exceeding 1000 ppm) were found near the stern deck of many boats while moving at high speeds. The CFD model, validated with field data, showed that boats operating below 5 mph could have hazardous CO concentrations as much as 20 feet to the rear. Several boat design changes could reduce the number of poisonings, including greater use of cleaner burning engines and catalysts. CFD modeling is a useful tool for assessing the impact of these and other design changes on boating safety.
Exposure-levels; Traumatic-injuries; Health-hazards; Models; Safety-research; Safety-monitoring; Exhaust-gases; Exhaust-systems; Poison-gases; Computer-models
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division