Forest Service Drops Controversial Retardant

By  | 

The US Forest Service says it has decided to stop using a firefighting slurry made by Fire-Trol Incorporated because laboratory tests show it can be toxic to aquatic life.

Fire-Trol is based in Phoenix and is protesting the decision with the General Accounting Office. The G-A-O declined to comment on the case. Company spokesman Robert Crouch says the Forest Service will continue using Fire-Trol products until its contract with the company expires in 2004.

Officials say lab tests show that when Fire-Trol brands are exposed to sun and water -- they briefly can release small amounts of cyanide that could harm fish. Fire-Trol says there is no evidence outside a lab.

Officials say an estimated five million gallons of Fire-Trol products have been used on Colorado wildfires this year.