3M vows to stop use of PFAS in manufacturing by 2026

3M says it will stop the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in its manufacturing by the end of 2025, manmade chemicals that have been linked to serious health problems in recent years.

3M will also work to discontinue the use of PFAS in its portfolio of products over the same time period.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, 3M officials said the decision was made as a result of "careful consideration and a thorough evaluation of the evolving external landscape, including multiple factors such as accelerating regulatory trends focused on reducing or eliminating the presence of PFAS in the environment and changing stakeholder expectations."

In recent years, PFAS have been the subject of increased concerns about their health effects, particularly surrounding the chemicals entering the drinking supply.

In 2018, Minnesota settled a lawsuit with 3M over PFAS with 3M agreeing to pay $850 million. A large sum of that money, $700 million, would be issued on improving drinking water in the metro. Just this fall, the state bought "cutting edge" technology to remove PFAS from water. Last summer, the state also launched a dashboard to track PFAS in water.

PFAS are known as "forever chemicals" because they don't break down over time. The chemicals were used for decades to make many products resistant to heat, oil, grease, and water. High levels of PFAS exposure have been linked to health problems ranging from higher cholesterol, changes to liver function, reduced immune response, thyroid disease, and increased risk of some cancers.