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The marked incidence of pyogenic infection among workers exposed to rock salt and water in the handling of wholesale ice cream has made salt infection a common term among the workers and the industrial surgeons. Since these so-called salt infections commonly manifest themselves as furuncles, the question of liability under workmen's compensation laws prompted my investigation of a series of cases during 1926 and 1927.
Three types of cases referable to combined rock salt and water exposure presented themselves. In order of frequency they were: (1) infected lacerations and abrasions; (2) local furuncles, and (3) chronic fissured palms. Many patients did not give any history of direct injury. Lesions occurred only in exposed areas. The infection was superficial and essentially limited to the skin. Where furuncles occurred they showed no tendency to become systemic.
Causative organisms were found to be staphylococci or mixed staphylococci and streptococci. No predominant
Thurber F. OCCUPATIONAL SKIN DISEASE FROM EXPOSURE TO ROCK SALT AND WATER. JAMA. 1928;90(7):540-541. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.92690340001017a