Metals

Foundry workers are sometimes burned by molten metal, which may spill or splash on body parts and run down into the boots. Elemental metals, sodium, lithium, potassium, magnesium, aluminum, and calcium may all cause burns. When exposed to air, some elemental metals spontaneously ignite. Water is generally contraindicated in extinguishing burning metal fragments embedded in the skin, because the explosive exothermic reaction that may result can lead to significant tissue injury. Burning metal may be extinguished with a class D fire extinguisher or smothered with sand. Covering metal fragments with mineral oil, however, appears to be the favored treatment method. Wound debridement should include excision of metal fragments that cannot be wiped away. Metal fragments should be placed in mineral oil to prevent further accidents.

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