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August 3, 1970

Potential Health Hazards of Materials Used in Boating

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pharmacology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Fla. Dr. Deichmann is a member of the AMA Committee on Occupational Toxicology.

JAMA. 1970;213(5):759-764. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170310037008

A visitor to a marina sees variety: numerous craft of different materials and of many sizes and designs. "Over forty-two million Americans take to our nation's waterways each year," according to Admiral W. J. Smith of the US Coast Guard.1 These people are the experienced skip pers and novice boatmen who, with their friends, in 1968 operated a total of 4,742,871 Class A, 1, 2 and 3 motor boats. Of these boats, 34.7% were constructed of wood, 31.3% of fiberglass, 28.5% of aluminum, and 2.6% of steel.2 Should the visitor be a physician, he may ponder on the health hazards of the materials used in construction and maintenance.

The yachtsman or amateur boat builder frequently handles an array of chemicals or chemical preparations in the form of paints, paint removers, cleansers, corrosion inhibitors, bleaching agents, and fuels. He may not always be aware of injuries that may result