MagChloride Truth

drawbacks of Mag Chloride

Magnesium chloride-based fire retardants have serious drawbacks

A magnesium chloride-based fire retardant is going through qualification testing to be considered for addition to the US Forest Service Qualified Product List (QPL). The retardant is being considered despite numerous reports on the damaging effects of using magnesium chloride – to aircraft, the environment, and people.

Before magnesium chloride is approved for use on federal and state lands, it’s important to know the facts.

Magnesium Chloride is NOT Safe for the Environment

Stanford research shows that phosphate-based fire retardants do not alter soil chemistry beyond typical topsoil compositions and are suitable for wildfire prevention. There is no data available for the long-term effects of dropping magnesium chloride-based long-term fire retardant on our forests, but with what we already know, is it worth the risk?

Magnesium Chloride is Not Safe for Aircraft or People

PHOS-CHEK® meets all USFS corrosion requirements and does not contain any carcinogens. The USFS estimates that wildland firefighters will be covered with retardant twice a year, up to 10 hours at a time. With what we know about magnesium chloride, is it worth the risk to add it to the QPL?

The corrosive impact of magnesium chloride on aircraft as highlighted in this section can lead to loss of structural integrity and potentially catastrophic failure.  Fire retardant that is loaded on an airplane will, at some point, come into contact with almost every part of that plane, especially metal surfaces like aluminum alloys, that are most susceptible to corrosion. Sidelining the limited number of planes and helicopters available to fight wildfires can lead to critical delays that impact the safety of firefighters on the ground and the public.

With everything we know about the dangers of magnesium chloride, and with many environmental and safety risks still untested, is it worth the risk to approve it for use as a fire retardant on all public lands?