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January 16, 1943


Author Affiliations


From the Division of Occupational Hygiene, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

JAMA. 1943;121(3):192-193. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.62840030001008

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"Cable rash" or "Halowax dermatitis" has been known to the medical profession for more than twenty-five years. Yet in this period of war, as in 1918, cases are being seen of intractable "chloracne" occurring in navy yard workers along both seacoasts, despite the use of the most modern protective creams and ointments. This type of dermatitis is seen also in those engaged in the manufacture of the chlorinated naphthalenes and diphenyls, as well as in men in other occupations in which these substances are employed. Such cable rashes are thought to be due at least in part to the blocking of the pores by the synthetic waxlike substances whose fumes solidify when they reach the skin. Acute yellow atrophy of the liver has been described as occurring from these chlorinated substances, but the present brief note is not concerned with this phase of their toxicity.

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