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Identifying Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Hazards on Boats

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing services, sampling supplies and field instrumentation to identify carbon monoxide and other gases.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations

Millions of people enjoy spending their time on all types of boats during the summer season. While many people relish their time on lakes, rivers or the ocean, boats powered by a combustion engine should be aware of potential carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning hazards.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division warns boaters that exposure to carbon monoxide can harm or cause death to people both inside and outside of a boat. They state, “Every boater should be aware of the risks associated with carbon monoxide - what it is; where it may accumulate; and the symptoms of CO poisoning. To protect yourself, your passengers and those around you, learn all you can about CO.”

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. All people and animals can be at risk for CO poisoning. However, certain groups such as unborn babies, infants and people with chronic heart disease, anemia or respiratory problems are often more susceptible to its effects.

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 can accumulate almost anywhere in or around a boat,” said Jody Thomason, Vice President of Products/Corporate Purchasing for EMSL Analytical, Inc.  “Exposure to CO can affect people while the boat is moored, anchored or underway. There have been numerous cases of boating-related poisonings and deaths associated with carbon monoxide and it is suspected that a number of drownings are also likely due to CO exposure.”

To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning on recreational and commercial boats, EMSL offers air testing services and a broad range of field instrumentation and air monitors that can detect CO and other potentially harmful gases. These instruments are available for purchase and rental from EMSL’s Products Division. EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about carbon monoxide hazards and boats that can be seen at:

To learn more about air testing or other environmental, occupational or health and safety services and monitoring instrumentation, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 

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 CO poisoning
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