The use of a phosphate buffer for the treatment of burns caused by acidic or basic substances is suggested by the following considerations: The customary therapy of chemical burns has definite disadvantages, particularly when such sensitive tissues as the cornea are involved. In order to achieve rapid and penetrating neutralization of acids and bases, high concentrations of the antidote are required. This prerequisite for successful therapy is not fulfilled by the commonly used reagents, since they can be applied only in dilute solutions because of their unphysiologic nature.
As a further requirement for effective treatment it is essential to maintain the hydrogen ion concentration of the antidote at a physiologic level. The following examples illustrate that the aforementioned requirements are not at all satisfied by the therapeutic agents in general use: A 5 per cent solution of acetic acid, recommended in textbooks for the treatment of burns caused by strong
Poser E, Haas E. PHOSPHATES IN THE THERAPY OF CHEMICAL BURNS. JAMA. 1943;123(10):630–631. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.82840450005007c