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October 11, 1902

Paraffin Will Not Prevent X-Ray Burns.

JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(15):923-924. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480410047012

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Chicago, Sept. 12, 1902.

To the Editor:  —The statement has recently appeared in several medical journals and in the lay press, and Dr. J. Mount Bleyer, New York, is given as authority for it, that a layer of paraffin interposed between an x-ray tube and the surface to be exposed will prevent x-ray burns. To test this matter I have performed the following experiment: I have been exposing to x-rays daily an area the size of a quarter, in the center of which was an epithelioma the size of a little finger nail. The surrounding surface has been protected by sheet lead, the surface exposed has been covered each time with a layer of paraffin 1/16 inch thick. In spite of this paraffin the surface now shows a well-marked x-ray dermatitis, not more or less than I would expect without the paraffin. This shows conclusively that an x-ray burn can

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