It’s fire retardant, used in preemptive strikes to keep flames from spreading. Phos-Chek is by far the dominant brand and is used around homes and under fireworks displays as well as in fighting wildfires. It’s bright red for a reason, and although it’s not especially toxic, you really don’t want a plane to dump hundreds of gallons of it directly on you.
And it’s made in Southern California: in a 100,000-square-foot plant in Rancho Cucamonga, where 30 to 40 people work to produce it.
First commercialized in 1963, the powder mixture was developed by Monsanto and later