While there have been some industrial uses for TCP as a cleaning and degreasing solvent, it is our experience that the majority of TCP groundwater contamination is a result of the use of certain soil fumigants which incorporate TCP into their composition.
Dow Chemical Company and Shell Oil Company manufactured and sold TCP-containing soil fumigants for decades. Dow sold its fumigants under the brand names of Telone (and after the mid-1970s Telone II). Shell’s fumigant was sold under the brand name of D-D. These fumigants were used extensively by farmers for the control of nematodes, microscopic worms that feed on plants, and were applied using high application rates. TCP was an inactive, and thus unnecessary ingredient, in Telone and D-D. TCP is highly mobile, persistent in the environment (meaning it does not break down), and is heavier than water. Such characteristics explain its propensity to contaminate groundwater.