3M plans to stop usingforever chemicals over the next few years. The company is facing a number of lawsuits over its toxic legacy with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
3M will stop using forever chemicals in its portfolio of products by the end of the century. 3M has annual sales of more than one billion dollars. Scotchgard fabric protector is one of its most popular products. The company worked with the Navy to develop foam.
Despite its promise to leave forever chemicals, the company still says that PFCS are critical in the manufacture of many products that are important for modern life.
Scotchgard fabric protector is one of its most popular products.
Because of how hardy the chemicals are, they've been used in manufacturing for decades. It takes temperatures above 700 degrees Celsius (1,292 degrees Fahrenheit) to break down the chemicals, and even then, they can still be found in the air.
It is no wonder that the pollution is so widespread. Chemicals are found in soil, water, and blood. Researchers are still trying to understand what that means for our health and environment. Bigger problems have arisen for communities exposed to higher concentrations of PFAS at more contaminated sites. Exposure to high concentrations of PFAS has been linked to a number of health problems.
In the past, 3M has gotten itself into legal troubles, in the form of some 2,000 lawsuits. 3M and other manufacturers were sued by the state of California for continuing to make PFAS products despite being aware of the risks. The company was sued by Minnesota for allegedly damaging drinking water and natural resources. The company could face up to $30 billion in legal liability for the hundreds of products it has developed with PFAS over the past decade, according to a report.
3M said in its announcement that it will continue to address litigation by defending ourselves in court or through negotiated resolutions.
3M decided in 2000 to stop manufacturing two of the most common types of forever chemicals. There are around 9000 different types of chemicals that 3M uses.
The press release doesn't say what the replacement will be. The announcement says that they have reduced their use of PFAS over the past three years through research and development.