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Author: Subject: How are phosphorus burns treated?
chemist1243
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[*] posted on 13-10-2020 at 09:08
How are phosphorus burns treated?


Yesterday, I ignited about 450mg of phosphorus off to see the silky white smoke, and a little bit of it sputtered and got on me. It’s a really small burn and it stopped hurting completely after 30 minutes, but I’d like to know how to treat a burn if say, a significantly larger burn occurred. Obviously you would go immediately to the hospital, but much like strong acids spilled in the eyes, immediate action can sometimes be the difference between a minor injury and a major disability.

What exactly would be the best course of action to minimize the damage if you got a really nasty burn before going to the hospital to get proper treatment? Phosphorus is just the worst most god awful toxic thing when it burns(white phosphorus specifically), and i could imagine having it fused to your skin for any amount of time is bound to cause some form of posioning.

Is it even something that can be treated immediately or is it just better to wait until you get to a hospital?
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unionised
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[*] posted on 13-10-2020 at 09:17


Ask a doctor.
Best answer; don't get burned but...
Just in case anyone else is (like me) old enough to remember the idea of treating phosphorus buns with copper salts.

"The review found no evidence that using copper sulphate improves the outcome of the burn, indeed, based upon the limited available evidence, the review authors suggest that copper sulphate should not be used in the treatment of phosphorus burns."

https://www.cochrane.org/CD008805/WOUNDS_interventions-for-t...

It seems a wet dressing and call the ambulance is the best option.
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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 14-10-2020 at 05:44


Always use a face shield and leather gloves and a fire retardant workspace.
Prevention is better than cure.
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itsallgoodjames
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[*] posted on 14-10-2020 at 06:47


I second what metal researcher said. If I remember correctly, white phosphorus is has about the same toxicity as cyanide ions, and it's burns can pretty easily be fatal...
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paulr1234
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[*] posted on 15-10-2020 at 04:45


https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11451604/
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