3M Will Stop Producing Deadly 'Forever Chemicals' By 2025
After relenting for years, 3M, the conglomerate behind Post-It notes and Scotch tape as well as the biggest producer of surgical masks, will stop making controversial per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) by the end of 2025, Jordan Valinsky reported for CNN Business.
Photo Insert: The company expects to take a financial hit of about $1.3 billion to $2.3 billion over the next few years because of the PFAS discontinuation, though it said PFAS represents a “small portion” of its revenue.
The chemicals, commonly known as “forever chemicals,” are found in hundreds of household items and used to make coatings and products that can repel water, grease, heat, and oil.
The most recent science suggests that these chemicals are much more hazardous to human health than scientists had initially thought and probably more dangerous at levels thousands of times lower than previously believed.
On Tuesday, 3M said its decision is “based on careful consideration and a thorough evaluation of the evolving external landscape,” acknowledging that regulations are cracking down on the chemicals.
For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (FPA) proposed earlier this year to label “forever chemicals” as hazardous substances. California also announced a lawsuit recently to recoup the clean-up costs from PFAS.
“While PFAS can be safely made and used, we also see an opportunity to lead in a rapidly evolving external regulatory and business landscape to make the greatest impact for those we serve,” said 3M CEO Mike Roman in a statement.
The company expects to take a financial hit of about $1.3 billion to $2.3 billion over the next few years because of the PFAS discontinuation. Yet, 3M said PFAS represents a “small portion” of its revenue, Jen Christensen also reported for CNN.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) phased out the use of certain PFAS chemicals in 2016. The FDA and manufacturers agreed in 2020 to phase out some PFAS chemicals from food packaging and other items that came into contact with food.
However, FDA monitoring of the environment showed that the chemicals tend to linger.