How to neutralize tordon weed killer in a garden

Trees along road image by mikari from

Tordon Weed Killer--also known as Tordon 22K (5L) Herbicide--was a weed killer introduced by Dow Jones Chemical in 1976 to control various woody or scrub reeds that grew along railways, roads and around industrial areas. In 1988, it was banned in the United States; an active component, Hexachlorobenzene, is known to cause cancer and other diseases. Since it can still be purchased elsewhere for use, you may need to neutralise the weed killer if it gets used in your garden.

Apply a layer of kitty litter, sawdust, shredded newspapers or towels to the liquid Tordon immediately if it has just been spilt or applied. This will absorb as much of the pesticide as possible before it seeps into the ground. Put the soaked material into a plastic bag that can be sealed.

Remove the top 2 to 3 inches of soil where the Tordon has been applied, using a shovel. Place the contaminated dirt in heavy-duty plastic bags that can be sealed.

Mix activated charcoal into the soil to absorb any residual pesticide. Charcoal is used to purify water, air and soil from various toxins, and will not harm plants. Use 45.4kg. of activated charcoal for every pound (or 454gr.) of Tordon used. Place a layer of topsoil over the charcoal once it is worked into the dirt.

Most recent