PPE supplies and household adhesives manufacturer 3M announced Dec. 20 it will cease production of “forever chemicals” and plans to discontinue their use in products by the end of 2025.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — also known as forever chemicals — have long been used manufacture a variety of products, such as firefighting foam and waterproof and stainproof textiles, by 3M and many other companies.
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PFAS have become a liability, however, and could cost 3M “some $30 billion,” according to Bloomberg Law. 3M said in a news release it expects to book pretax charges $1.3 billion to $2.3 billion, including a charge of up to $1 billion this quarter, as it exits PFAS manufacturing.
3M’s decision was based on multiple factors, such as changing stakeholder and customer expectations regarding the use of PFAS, according to the release.
“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,” 3M chairman and CEO Mike Roman said. “This action is another example of how we are positioning 3M for continued sustainable growth by optimizing our portfolio, innovating for our customers, and delivering long-term value for our shareholders.”