As governments throughout the world adopt a stricter approach to chemical safety, 3M has announced that it will slowly stop the production and use of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemicals.
The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Roman, explained that "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 has announced that it will slowly stop the production and use of PFAS“
The chemicals are employed in the manufacture of consumer goods to create non-stick and water-resistant qualities; however, these do not decompose. A host of concerns regarding contamination have resulted from this, such as drinking water restrictions in certain regions.
3M has now made a commitment to "work to discontinue use of PFAS across our product portfolio by the end of 2025."
Sales of PFAS for 3M amount to $1.3 billion, approximately 3% of total revenue.
The company has withheld information regarding the possible effects on the 3000 employees at the five sites, which typically produce other chemicals as well.
Senior Vice President of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, Scott Faber, said that "after telling everyone — their neighbours, their workers and their regulators — that PFAS are safe while poisoning the entire planet, 3M is now pledging to slink out the back door with no accountability."
"This step was inevitable in light of growing actions to bar PFAS products in many jurisdictions over the next decade," Coe wrote. "These actions are relatively immaterial in a purely financial sense."
By 2025, the EU intends to ban the manufacturing of all PFAS. Additionally, authorities in Canada, Australia, and Asia are focusing more on restricting the presence of PFAS in drinking water.
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