3M announced today that it will discontinue the manufacturing and use of PFAS – widely known as “forever chemicals” – across its product portfolio by the end of 2025.
PFAS are a group of chemicals that have been in use in a wide range of consumer and industrial products since the 1940s. They are commonly found in food packaging, fabrics, kitchenware products, fire-fighting foam, and electronics, among other products. The chemicals tend to be very persistent, and don’t break down over time, and have been found to accumulate in the human body and in the environment. It is believed that PFAS can have cause adverse health effects in humans, including low birth weights, cancers, thyroid hormone disruption as well as affecting the immune system.
3M stated that its decision considered multiple factors, including regulatory trends focused on reducing or eliminating PFAS, and changing stakeholder expectations.
Mike Roman, 3M chairman and chief executive officer, said:
“This is a moment that demands the kind of innovation 3M is known for. 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.”
The company’s annual net sales of manufactured PFAS are approximately $1.3 billion with estimated EBITDA margins of approximately 16%.