QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF PHOSPHORUS-CONTAINING COMPOUNDS FORMED IN WP BURNS.
EDGEWOOD ARSENAL MD
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The object of this work was to determine the types and amounts of phosphorus compounds formed from burning WP, and to determine the role of these compounds in the tissue damage produced by WP burns. Combustion of WP on the skin resulted in the formation of meta- and orthosphosphoric acids and a small amount of red phosphorus. The pH on the surface of the skin following washing with water immediately after a WP burn was 2.5. In the tissue of the burned area no pH lower than 4.5 was found. Heat coagulation reached 3.0 mm below the skin surface, while the pH was altered only as far as 1.5 mm below the surface. In addition the phosphate content of the skin was not increased below a depth of 2.0 mm. It was concluded that 1 the dehydrating effect of phosphorus pentoxide formed by a WP burn on the skin is negligible 2 heat coagulation of the tissue penetrates the skin more deeply than acids formed during a WP burn and 2 the heat of reaction of burning WP is probably primarily responsible for the tissue damage in a WP burn. Author
- Medicine and Medical Research