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Here’s how 3M closed the story of PFAS in drinking water

Here's how 3M closed the story of PFAS in drinking water

The US multinational 3M will pay up to 10.3 billion dollars to resolve the proceedings which see it involved in the contamination of drinking water by Pfas, i.e. the "perennial chemical substances". The issue of firefighting foam that had involved the Pentagon is therefore also closed. All the details

The case is solved. The American group 3M has put an end to the proceedings initiated by several public drinking water distribution networks for contamination by Pfas, or "perennial chemical substances" because it is very difficult to eliminate them. A judge's validation of the June 2023 deal, which stipulated that 3M will pay up to $10.3 billion pre-tax over 13 years, came yesterday.

There are an incredible quantity of perfluoroalkyl substances, better known as Pfas, and they are found practically everywhere. Even in our blood . Recently, the European packaging directive banned them since they are also in contact with food.


The agreement to settle proceedings involving 3M for PFAS contamination of drinking water requires the group to pay up to $10.3 billion pre-tax over 13 years, with annual maturities ranging from $2.9 billion in 2024 to 200 million in each of the last three years (2034, 2035 and 2036). The money is to be used to finance water treatment technologies where they test positive for PFAS, nicknamed "perennial pollutants", and to pay for future control analyses.

From the release released, the first payments are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2024, unless the final validation is appealed.

Following the news, 3M shares rose about 3% .


Announced on June 22, 2023 , the transaction still needed a judge's approval to be finalized. “This is another important step for 3M as we continue to deliver on our priorities,” commented Mike Roman, group chief executive. “The final approval of this agreement and progress towards stopping all PFAS production by the end of 2025 will strengthen our efforts to reduce risks and uncertainties going forward,” he added.

The group had set aside a charge of $10.3 billion before taxes starting from 2023.


The settlement announced in June purported to resolve all current and future drinking water claims related to any type of PFAS, including those included in the multidistrict Aqueous Film Forming Foam (Afff) lawsuit based in Charleston, CA. South Carolina. Substance present in the aqueous film foam used by firefighters to put out fires.

3M, meanwhile, in 2000 declared that it would gradually eliminate the production of two types of PFAS: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

But, as Start wrote , the Pentagon is also involved in the history of firefighting foam which, despite having contributed to its design and having used it in at least 385 military bases for training, has asked for – and will probably obtain – the immunity from 27 lawsuits involving him.


The issue of defective earplugs, supplied to the US army and produced by Aearo Technologies, acquired by 3M in 2008 and in bankruptcy proceedings since July 2022, is also moving towards a resolution .

At the end of August 2023, a 6 billion dollar settlement was reached to avoid a trial: thousands of American soldiers in fact denounced the group, claiming that their hearing had been damaged by these devices. In that case, the amount of the agreement turned out to be decidedly lower than that hypothesized by some analysts , who expected a cost for 3M of between 10 and 15 billion dollars.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/economia/ecco-come-3m-ha-chiuso-la-storia-dei-pfas-nellacqua-potabile/ on Tue, 02 Apr 2024 12:02:22 +0000.