3M to Pay $10.3 Billion to Settle Drinking Water Lawsuits Involving ‘Forever Chemicals’

3M, a multinational conglomerate known for producing various industrial products, has announced a settlement agreement to address lawsuits related to the contamination of water supplies in the United States by toxic “forever chemicals.” Under the settlement, 3M has agreed to pay up to $10.3 billion over a span of 13 years, which will be used to support public water suppliers in the country that have detected these chemicals in drinking water.

The chemicals in question are polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly referred to as “forever chemicals.” These substances are found in numerous household items, including cosmetics, carpets, and coatings used to repel water, grease, and oil.

Over the past two decades, 3M has faced thousands of lawsuits regarding its manufacturing of products containing PFAS. These lawsuits claim that the company had knowledge of the harmful effects of PFAS, including cancer, developmental defects, and other health problems, as well as the contamination of drinking water systems in the United States.

As part of the settlement, 3M has committed to ceasing the production of these controversial chemicals by the end of 2025. This move aligns with the company’s decision to discontinue the use of PFAS in its manufacturing processes.

The proposed settlement from 3M follows similar actions taken by other companies involved in the production of PFAS. Just a few weeks prior, Chemours, DuPont, and Corteva agreed to pay over $1 billion to settle lawsuits associated with “forever chemicals.”

By reaching this settlement, 3M aims to address the concerns raised by the lawsuits and provide support to public water suppliers in their efforts to mitigate the presence of PFAS in drinking water systems across the United States.