White Phosphorus (WP) White Phosphorus (WP), known as Willy Pete, is used for signaling, screening, and incendiary purposes. White Phosphorus can be used to destroy the enemy's equipment or to limit his vision. It is used against vehicles, petroleum, oils and lubricants (POL) and ammunition storage areas, and enemy observers. WP can be used as an aid in target location and navigation. It is usually dispersed by explosive munitions. It can be fired with fuze time to obtain an airburst. White phosphorus was used most often during World War II in military formulations for smoke screens, marker shells, incendiaries, hand grenades, smoke markers, colored flares, and tracer bullets.
It's not something to worry too much about. WP is generally used to light a battlefield, or to blind the enemy. You are seeing the rounds deployed ABOVE ground which essentially means it's being used to illuminate the battlefield. WP is nasty stuff it it hits a person, but the way it is being used is not irresponsible. If memory serves, it's the same ingrediant used in normal roadside flares. I'm more worried about the bullets than WP at this point.
Edit to add link: Link
[edit on 5-1-2009 by Raustin]