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The 3M Company Is Stopping Making ‘Forever Chemicals’



The 3M Company Is Stopping Making 'Forever Chemicals'

(CTN News) – 3M has announced that it will cease making and using so-called “forever chemicals,” materials associated with a variety of health problems, including cancer.

To explain its decision, the company, which also makes Post-It notes, cited an increase in regulatory and consumer concerns about the substances, known as PFAS.

In the past, these materials were popular for their water resistance and non-stick properties.

There are many everyday items that contain them.

A variety of materials may be involved, such as food packaging, firefighting foam, mobile phones, clothing, and non-stick cooking pans.

In spite of this, researchers have long been concerned about the chemicals, which are known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS, since they do not decompose under normal environmental conditions.

Water, soil, and food contain dangerous concentrations of these contaminants, and they can also remain in the body for a considerable period of time.

In August, the US announced that it was considering designating some “forever chemicals” – of which there are thousands – as hazardous substances. Several local governments in the United States and the United Kingdom have already taken steps to prohibit some of these products.

A number of lawsuits and campaigns are also putting pressure on companies.

McDonald’s and Burger King, outdoor gear manufacturer Gore Tex, as well as some UK supermarkets such as Asda and Co-op have pledged to phase out the chemicals in recent years.

As an example, McDonald’s has stated that it will remove chemicals from its fast food packaging by 2025.

As 3M announced its decision, it affirmed the safety of its chemicals, stating that they could be made and used in a safe manner.

However, he stated that the company saw an “opportunity to lead” by moving to phase out the substances in order to ensure long-term growth.

The company, which manufactures tens of thousands of industrial and everyday products, announced that it would honor current orders. However, it would cease 3M manufacturing the chemicals by the end of 2025. By the end of that year, the company plans to phase out the use of the substances in its own products.

As a result of these two actions, 3M is committing to innovate toward a world that is less dependent on PFAS, as the company stated.

In the early 2000s, the company had already phased out the use of two PFAS. According to the company, its chemicals generate approximately $1.3 billion (£1.1 billion) in sales each year, less than 5% of its overall revenues.

The decision by 3M has been referred to as a “massive public health victory” by Joseph Allen, an associate professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health who has studied the substances.

In response to the news, he wrote on Twitter, “The beginning of the end for Forever 3M Chemicals.”

Clare Fidra, senior project manager at UK-based environmental charity Fidra, says that while she appreciates 3M’s decision, more must be done.

It is pertinent for UK legislation to ensure these changes are replicated across all sectors as a result of voluntary action such as this.

What exactly does 3M do?

3M manufactures and distributes a broad range of products, from building materials and adhesives to medical and home cleaning supplies. The company’s Safety and Industrial segment generates the most sales and profits.


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