(ConservativeHub.com) – In recent years, public concern has grown surrounding perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly called “forever chemicals” because of the incredibly long time it takes for them to break down. Due to these chemicals’ resilience, manufacturers have used the chemicals to repel water on raincoats, create nonstick pans, and even fight jet fuel fires, among other things.
Now, one major company is moving away from the long-lasting chemical after facing an onslaught of criticism and lawsuits surrounding them.
3M to Stop Making PFAS by 2025
On Tuesday, December 20, 3M announced it would phase out the manufacture of PFAS and work to find alternatives for use in its products by the end of 2025. The company currently makes or licenses more than 60,000 products using the chemicals, including well-known things like Command Strips, Scotch Tape, and Post-its.
3M said it would stop making so-called forever chemicals and work to discontinue their use across the manufacturing conglomerate’s portfolio of products by the end of 2025 https://t.co/6vCuImBPr2
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 20, 2022
3M chairman and chief executive officer Mike Roman said in a statement that he believes “PFAS can be safely made and used,” but he also knows this is “an opportunity to lead in a rapidly evolving external regulatory and business landscape.”
Currently, 3M makes approximately $1.3 billion in net sales annually on PFAS, news outlets have reported. The company estimates it will take pre-tax funds of between $1.3 to $2.3 billion to make this move.
Recent Criticism of PFAS
Environmentalists, lawmakers, and regulators have all raised alarms as more research comes out about PFAS that researchers are finding in people’s bodies, their drinking water, and seemingly everywhere in between. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, exposure to some types of forever chemicals in high amounts is associated with cancer, higher cholesterol, liver impacts, and more.
Knowing about the links to health effects, many lawmakers have moved to sue companies like 3M and DuPont for their use of PFAs. The state of California is suing the corporations mentioned above, claiming they knew the chemicals were toxic yet continued to produce them. This lawsuit follows similar suits filed in North Carolina and New York.
Both 3M and DuPont have defended their manufacturing practices, highlighting histories of “environmental stewardship,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Looking to the Future
While it seems regulations and lawsuits will force manufacturers to move away from manufacturing PFAS in the future, 3M is working on getting ahead of the curve. Of course, American consumers can vote with their wallets and support companies they believe are doing the right thing for their communities and the planet.
What do you think? Should more companies be moving away from the use of PFAs?
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