Google Play mobile download button
Apple IOS mobile download button
Google Play mobile download button
Apple IOS mobile download button
HomeBreaking NewsAfter years of pressure, 3M will stop making ‘forever chemicals’

After years of pressure, 3M will stop making ‘forever chemicals’

'Quick read' news summary

In the face of continued legal action from states across the country, 3M, a Fortune 500 manufacturing company, will discontinue the use of “forever chemicals” by 2025.

3M makes Scotchgard and other water-repellent products which contain a class of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, that do not break down in the environment. PFAS has been found in nearly every state in the country and in everything from polar bears to fast food wrappers. Research has shown a link between these chemicals and public health concerns such as high blood pressure in mid-life women, stunted developmental growth, infertility, as well as kidney, liver, and testicular cancers.

In a statement, the St.Paul-based company said the decision comes on the heels of an “evolving external landscape,” which includes increased regulatory pressures. In the past year, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, released a PFAS Strategic Roadmap, which plans to create new policies to protect public health and the environment while holding polluters accountable. In addition to the increased federal pressure, 3M has been the target of various lawsuits directed at PFAS manufacturers.

California announced a lawsuit in November that alleges 3M, DuPont, and other PFAS producers have caused far-reaching damage to public health and the environment by dealing in products laced with “forever chemicals.” The lawsuit is similar to a dozen others filed in states across the country. While the lawsuits are mounting, 3M’s awareness of their production problem has been festering for decades. 

As early as the 1970s, the manufacturing company knew that PFAS was accumulating in human bloodstreams. According to The Intercept, 3M was sued by its home state of Minnesota in 2010 and settled the suit for $850 million, which lead to a mountain of internal documents, memos, and research to be released by the state’s Attorney General’s Office, showing

In the face of continued legal action from states across the country, 3M, a Fortune 500 manufacturing company, will discontinue the use of “forever chemicals” by 2025. PFAS has been found in nearly every state in the country and in everything from polar bears to fast food wrappers. California announced a lawsuit in November that alleges 3M, DuPont, and other PFAS producers have caused far-reaching damage to public health and the environment by dealing in products laced with “forever chemicals.”

Read different perspectives