phossy jaw


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phossy jaw

(ˈfɒsɪ)
n
(Pathology) a gangrenous condition of the lower jawbone caused by prolonged exposure to phosphorus fumes
[C19: phossy, colloquial shortening of phosphorus]
References in periodicals archive ?
Evelyn is a teenager living in England in the late 1800s, and after having worked with poisonous materials in a matchstick factory, she has phossy jaw. The surgery to remove a large section of her jaw has left her with terrible scars and a face that is disfigured.
Prior to that toxic matches attacked the jaws of workers causing a painful and fatal disease known as 'phossy jaw'.
Those conditions involved 14-hour days and harsh fines for missed work days, and there were the terrible health implications of working with white phosphorus, which led to phossy jaw and blindness.
Extended exposure to this chemical led to yellow skin, hair loss, and "phossy jaw," a form of bone cancer that led to the disintegration of the jawbone.
It is named after "phossy jaw," the occupational hazard of those who made matches with white phosphorus without proper safeguards, many years ago.