3M, the multinational conglomerate known for producing a wide range of products including adhesives, abrasives, and medical supplies, announced that it will phase out the use of “forever chemicals” in its products. Illinois residents should be aware of the impact any exposure to toxic substances may have on their health so they can act accordingly.
What are forever chemicals?
Forever chemicals, also known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are a group of man-made chemicals that are highly resistant to degradation and persist in the environment for long periods of time. They have been used in various products, including nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing and firefighting foams. However, they have been linked to several adverse health effects, including cancer, immune system problems and reproductive issues.
In its announcement, 3M stated that it will no longer use PFAS in the production of any of its products and will work to find alternatives for the remaining uses of the chemicals in its existing products. The company will also work with customers to transition to alternative technologies and will provide technical support to help them find suitable replacements.
3M’s decision to phase out PFAS follows a similar move by other major companies, such as DuPont and Chemours, which have also committed to reducing or eliminating the use of these chemicals in their products. The move by 3M is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
The move is seen as a positive step towards protecting human health and the environment. While the phase-out of PFAS will likely take some time, it is an important step in the right direction toward reducing the use of harmful chemicals in consumer products. It is also a reminder that companies have a responsibility to consider the impact of their products on both people and the planet.
Avoiding exposure to forever chemicals
Avoiding exposure to forever chemicals or other defective products involves being aware of the items and environments in which they are found.
Teflon, window treatments and takeout food containers are only some of the items that contain forever chemicals. While these substances are being gradually removed from the market, products that use forever chemicals need to be on consumers’ radars as they are still in circulation.