Why Indoor Air Problems Amplify In a Yacht?

2 mins read | 12.06.2022

Why Indoor Air Problems Amplify in a Yacht?

How Can We Control Them?

Toxic Mold, Bacteria, Allergens, Odors and Fumes, Stale Air, Virus, Air Contaminants, VOC’s. Indoor air on a yacht, boat and other marine vessels is far more polluted than a home or office building. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) indoor air contains 2 to 5 times more contaminants, and on occasions, as much as 100 times more. Yachts provide a perfect atmosphere for growing indoor air quality (IAQ) issues due to high exposure to humidity, moisture and wide temperature differentials.

Symptoms associated with indoor air quality health problems include irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, sore throat, headaches, colds and flu, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Cases of Listeria Monocytogenes a unique type of bacteria that can live in a very cold atmosphere and loves ice machines, drains and shower sumps are commonly found in yachts and boats. Staph Bacteria also known as “flesh eating bacteria” have also been reported in yachts and the highly contagious Norwalk Virus (famous among cruise vacationers) that can be transferred from contaminated surface to hand to mouth. Even more concerning, other health effects from exposure to indoor air pollutants and highly toxic airborne particles could show up years later, including asthma, severe allergies, heart disease, respiratory disease, reproductive disorders, sterility and even cancer.

Indoor air bacterial growth in marine vessels can be controlled with the right program, indoor air health problems can be prevented and indoor air quality aboard yachts, boats and other type of vessels can be significantly improved.

A filthy air handler promotes rapid bacterial contamination and widespread mold spores. The hygiene of the air handling unit is a crucial factor when addressing any indoor air quality issue on board.

sick yacht syndrome

Contrary to what many people think, while on board a marine vessel passengers spend most of the time inside the living quarters. Yacht owners, and guest relax and sleep in the staterooms, have a meal in the dinning area or a few drinks in the skylounge while the crew works inside the wheelhouse, galley or engine room, the seven days of the week, for weeks or months at a time.

Please follow the links below for important information on indoor air quality (IAQ) from U.S. authorities:

US Environmental Protection Agency

American Lung Association

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



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