Red phosphorus is harmless, odourless, and chemically active, though not in a significant way. It’s a dark red colour that isn’t phosphorescent like white phosphorus.
- Semiconductors, fertilizers, pyrotechnics, safety matches, smoke bombs, pesticides, incendiary shells in organic synthesis reactions, and even certain flame retardants all use red phosphorus. Electroluminescent coatings also employ it.
- Methamphetamine (meth), an illegal drug, is made with red phosphorus. To make hydriodic acid, red phosphorus is combined with iodine in the procedure.
- However, red phosphorus is illegal to import, export, purchase, or sell iodine crystals in the United States if they are used or intended to be used in the production of methamphetamine.