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March 19, 1982

Treatment of Bitumen Burns

JAMA. 1982;247(11):1565. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320360017013

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To the Editor.—  Thermal injury as a consequence of contact with hot pitch and tar represents one of the five safety problems accounting for 62% of all injury cases and 76% of all workers' compensation costs in the roofing and sheet metal industry. Burns from hot materials, the second most frequent injury after "strains and sprains," constitute 16% of all accidents involving roofers and sheet metal workers, with 17% of those injuries being of sufficient severity as to cause "lost time" (in approximately one sixth of the injuries, the "lost time" exceeds ten days). In the state of California alone in 1979, 366 roofers and slaters sustained burn injuries.The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, at the direction of their international president Roy E. Johnson and in the interest of instructing and training their membership in first aid for bitumen burns, has solicited recommendations from numerous physicians