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3M agrees to $10.3 billion in PFAS settlement

3M agrees to $10.3 billion PFAS settlement
3M agrees to $10.3 billion PFAS settlement 00:22

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota-based manufacturing company 3M will pay $10.3 billion to settle lawsuits surrounding "forever chemicals" in drinking water.

The monster sum will be payed out over the course of the 13 years, the company announced on Thursday. It stems from  PFAS-related litigation based in South Carolina, and the funds will be used for PFAS treatment technologies across the country.

MORE: PFAS: The water contaminant that scientists say isn't going away

PFAS is the scientific name for a family of 500 chemicals that never break down. They have been linked to certain cancers, and found in everyday products like cookware, cosmetics, and cleaning supplies. 

3M produced PFAS for decades, and legally dumped the chemicals in different sites, including in the east metro. The chemicals seeped into the water, and in 2018, the state settled a $850 million lawsuit against the company for its alleged damage to drinking water.

This past session, lawmakers passed legislation prohibiting the sale of PFAS in some everyday products, like carpets and cosmetics by 2025. The bill also bans all non-essential use of PFAS by 2032. 3M pledged late last year that the company would stop manufacturing and using PFAS by the end of 2025.

"This is an important step forward for 3M, which builds on our actions that include our announced exit of PFOA and PFOS manufacturing more than 20 years ago, our more recent investments in state-of-the-art water filtration technology in our chemical manufacturing operations, and our announcement that we will exit all PFAS manufacturing by the end of 2025," said 3M chairman and CEO Mike Roman.

The agreement, the company says, is "not an admission of liability." 

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