3M to discontinue making hazardous ‘forever chemicals’ starting in 2025: Reports

By the end of 2025, 3M, the corporation that makes Scotch tape and Post-It notes, will stop producing contentious per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Numerous household objects include “forever chemicals,” which are also used to create coatings and other products that can withstand heat, oil, grease, and water. The most current research indicates that these chemicals are significantly more toxic to human health than first anticipated and are possibly more so at concentrations that are thousands of times lower.

3M acknowledged that laws are tightening up on the chemicals in a statement released on Tuesday, stating that their choice was “based on careful analysis and a thorough examination of the shifting external situation.”

“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 to CNN. “This action is another example of how we are positioning 3M for continued sustainable growth by optimizing our portfolio, innovating for our customers, and delivering long-term value for our shareholders.”

The company estimates that the discontinuation of PFAS would result in a financial loss of between $1.3 billion and $2.3 billion over the following several years. PFAS, however, only makes up a “tiny fraction” of 3M’s (MMM) business, the company claimed.

Manufacturers of two of the most widely used everlasting chemicals, PFOS and PFOA, have voluntarily discontinued making them during the past ten years.

The use of several PFAS compounds was phased out by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2016 at the federal level. In 2020, the FDA and manufacturers came to an agreement to gradually remove certain PFAS compounds from food packaging and other products that came into contact with food. The compounds do, however, have a tendency to linger, according to FDA environmental monitoring.

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