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Category Press Release
Publish Date 6/19/2018
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Identifying and Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Hazards in Boats throughout California
Introduction LA Testing provides analytical services, sampling supplies and field instrumentation to identify carbon monoxide and other gases that could pose exposure risks.

Huntington Beach, CA, June 19th, 2018

With the arrival of boating season, millions of California residents and visitors will enjoy themselves on boats of all types this summer. Incredibly, there are over 1 million registered recreational boats in California and thousands of commercial vessels that call the state’s 800+ mile coastline home.

While many people relish their time on the water, those in boats powered by a combustion engine should be aware of potential carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning hazards. According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways, “Traditionally, CO poisonings have occurred on houseboats, vessels with overhead canopies or other vessels that have poor ventilation. CO also accumulates onboard a vessel through a process known as the ‘station wagon effect.’ This occurs as air moves around a boat and forms a low pressure area immediately behind the broad, flat transom. CO from the exhaust system enters the low-pressure area and is fed back into the cockpit and into the cabin.”

Symptoms of CO poisoning can be similar to seasickness or alcohol intoxication and may include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • Nausea


“Carbon monoxide is so dangerous because it is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility.  “All people and animals can be at risk for CO poisoning, but certain groups, such as unborn babies, infants and people with chronic heart disease, anemia or respiratory problems are often more susceptible to its effects even at lower concentrations.”

Helping to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning on recreational and commercial boats are the air quality experts at LA Testing. They offer air testing services and a broad range of field instruments and air monitoring equipment that can detect CO and other combustion gases. Many of these instruments are available for purchase or rental. LA Testing has even sponsored an educational video about carbon monoxide hazards and boats that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/ynxLYdCt9Qw.    

To learn more about air testing or other environmental, occupational or health and safety services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals.  In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states.  LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.

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