Phosphorus has been a staple of industry since the 1800's when it was found to be just the right ingredient for starting fires, thus beginning the phasing out of cumbersome flint-and-tinder methods of firestarting. However, in those early days it was the white, and not red, allotrope that was used. White phosphorus is not only self-igniting but also extremely toxic and following large public scandals the world slowly turned to the much less toxic red kind.
And to this day you see the brick red phsophorus on the side of matchbooks where it continues to have a presence in just about every home worldwide. Not too long ago phosphorus became mired in new controversy when a cheap process for making meth from cold medicine and phosphorus was revealed. While the phosphorus is in this case only a catalyst the DEA quickly put a stop to unregulated commerce in this chemical giving rise to the almost comical sight of junkies buying up matchbooks by the hundreds to scrape off the phosphorus.
Red phosphorus is a chemical with restrictions on its manufacture and distribution. To comply with these regulations the sample provided has been made inert through the addition of a resin binder. All sales will be recorded and made available to the DEA upon their request.