pfas forever chemicals

pfas forever chemicals

3M announced it will exit per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) manufacturing and work to discontinue the use across its product portfolio by the end of 2025. 3M’s decision is based on 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.

The chemicals also called “forever chemicals,” are found in many household items and occur in coatings and products that can repel water, grease, heat, and oil. Science suggests that these chemicals are hazardous to human health already at very low levels. They have spread in nature and can be found almost everywhere.

“This is a moment that demands the kind of innovation 3M is known for,” said 3M chairman and chief executive officer Mike Roman. “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. 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.”

3M will:

  • Exit all PFAS manufacturing by the end of 2025: 3M will discontinue manufacturing all fluoropolymers, fluorinated fluids, and PFAS-based additive products. We will help facilitate an orderly transition for customers. 3M intends to fulfill current contractual obligations during the transition period.
  • Work to discontinue use of PFAS across our product portfolio by the end of 2025: We have already reduced our use over the past three years through ongoing research and development, and will continue to innovate new solutions for customers.

With these two actions, 3M is committing to innovate toward a world less dependent upon PFAS. 3M’s products are safe for their intended uses. 3M will continue to remediate PFAS and address litigation by defending ourselves in court or through negotiated resolutions, all as appropriate.

Financial Information

As noted above, 3M will exit all PFAS manufacturing by the end of 2025. The current annual net sales of manufactured PFAS are approximately $1.3 billion with estimated EBITDA margins of approximately 16%. In addition, as also noted above, 3M will work to discontinue the use of PFAS across our product portfolio by the end of 2025, which represents a small portion of 3M’s overall revenue. Over the course of the exit from PFAS manufacturing, 3M expects to incur related total pre-tax charges of approximately $1.3 billion to $2.3 billion, including the fourth quarter 2022 amount below. Approximately 70-80% of the total is expected to be non-cash.

The company expects to take an estimated fourth quarter 2022 pre-tax charge in a range of $0.7 billion to $1.0 billion, primarily non-cash and related to asset impairments.

3M intends to reflect the fourth quarter 2022 costs as an adjustment in arriving at results, adjusted for special items. Beginning in 2023, 3M also expects to adjust for the results of manufactured PFAS in arriving at results, adjusted for special items.