Hot asphalt burns: a review of injuries and management options

Published:January 21, 2014DOI:
      Hot asphalt burns to human tissue can increase the likelihood of infection and potential conversion of partial thickness to full-thickness injuries. Successful intervention for hot asphalt burns requires immediate and effective cooling of the asphalt on the tissue followed by subsequent gradual removal of the cooled asphalt.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to The American Journal of Emergency Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


      1. Puzinauskas VP, Corbett LW. Differences between petroleum asphalt, coal-tar pitch, and road tar. Research Report 78-1; The Asphalt Institute, Lexington, KY; 1978.

      2. Nomenclature and Terms, Hanson WE. Ed, Hoiberg AJ. Bituminous materials: asphalts, tars, and pitches, Volume 1. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, 1964:1–23.

        • Stratta R.J.
        • Saffle J.R.
        • Kravitz M.
        • Warden G.D.
        Management of tar and asphalt injuries.
        Am J Surg. 1983; 146: 766-769
        • Renz B.M.
        • Sherman R.
        Hot tar burns: twenty-seven hospitalized cases.
        J Burn Care Rehabil. 1994; 15: 341-345
        • Baruchin A.M.
        • Schraf S.
        • Rosenberg L.
        • Sagi A.A.
        Hot bitumen burns: 92 hospitalized patients.
        Burns. 1997; 23: 438-441
        • Iuchi M.
        • Sugiyama M.
        • Oyatsu Y.
        • Fukai T.
        The comparative study of solvents to expedite removal of bitumen.
        Burns. 2009; 35: 288-293
        • Waters T.A.
        • Al-Salamah M.A.
        Heat emergencies.
        in: Tintinalli J.E. Stapczynski J.S. Ma O.J. Cline D.M. Cydulka R.K. Meckler G.D. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. McGraw Hill, New York, NY2011: 1339-1344
        • Hill M.B.
        • Achauer B.M.
        • Martinez S.
        Tar and asphalt burns.
        J Burn Care Rehabil. 1984; 5: 271-274
        • Ashbell T.S.
        • Crawford H.H.
        • Adamson J.E.
        • Horton C.E.
        Tar and grease removal from injured parts.
        Plast Reconstr Surg. 1967; 40: 330-331
        • Demling R.H.
        • Buerstatte W.R.
        • Perea A.
        Management of hot tar burns.
        CMAJ. 1980; 20: 242
        • Turegun M.
        • Ozturk S.
        • Selmanpakoglu N.
        Sunflower oil in the treatment of hot tar burns.
        Burns. 1997; 23: 442-445
        • Juma A.
        Bitumen burns and the use of baby oil.
        Burns. 1994; 20: 363-364
        • James N.K.
        • Moss A.L.H.
        Review of burns caused by bitumen and the problem of its removal.
        Burns. 1990; 16: 214-216
        • Bozkurt A.
        • O'Dey D.
        • Pallua N.
        Treatment of hot bitumen-contact-burn injuries.
        Burns. 2008; 34: 1053-1054
        • Weir R.E.
        • Zaidi F.H.
        • Mathur D.
        • Whitehead D.E.
        • Greaves B.P.
        Treatment of bitumen burns: effective dissolution of hardened hydrocarbon residue on periorbital and eyelid burns using butter.
        Eye (Lond). 2006; 20: 509-511
        • Tiernan E.
        • Harris A.
        Butter in the initial treatment of hot tar burns.
        Burns. 1993; 19: 437-438
        • Alexander G.
        • Rajacic N.
        • Ebrahim M.K.
        • Ghoneim I.
        MEBO and hot bitumen burns.
        Burns. 2003; : 29