Grace Smith | December 27, 2022
3M, a Minnesota mining and manufacturing company, announced on Dec. 20 that it will stop manufacturing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and also push to end using chemicals in its products by the end of 2025.
PFAs are also known as “forever chemicals” because of the duration the chemicals exist without breaking down. PFAs are all human-made chemicals that are released into the air from repellents, non-stick sprays, packaging, and the manufacturing of the materials for about 120 years.
Making these forever chemicals has accumulated millions of wet industrial waste. 3M then dumped that waste in unlined landfills, polluting a large amount of groundwater in the East Metro.
“This is a moment that demands the kind of innovation 3M is known for,” 3M chief executive officer Mike Roman said in a news release. “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.”
3M said it will stop manufacturing PFA-based products, fluoropolymers, and fluorinated fluid by the end of 2025. The company also said it has already started reducing PFAs across its current products, but it will work to stop the use of all PFAs in products by the end of 2025.