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Environmental Leadership


Working to protect the environment

Today, more than ever, we all need to care about the environment. And 3M has been taking great strides to minimize any harmful effects of its products. It has phased out production of products using fluorochemicals - specifically Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) compounds) - which were reported to have a potentially negative effect on the environment.

3M’s decision was taken after research indicated that PFOS, at very low levels, was widely dispersed in wildlife around the world and also had been detected at low levels in people. Although extensive research showed no adverse health effects at the levels found, 3M did not want to add to the presence of this persistent compound in the environment or in people.

Instead, 3M invested in developing more sustainable substitute technologies, resulting in the introduction of a whole new ‘next generation’ of reformulated products under the Scotchgard™ brand name. These reformulated products not only provide equal or better protection performance, they also have a very favorable environmental, health and safety profile.

The important thing to remember is that 3M’s newly-formulated carpet, textiles and leather products sold under, or featuring, the Scotchgard™ Brand name, are safe for their intended uses and with minimal-to-no environmental impact.

Further, based on extensive environmental, health and safety testing, these new materials show a low eco-toxicity profile and low toxicity to animals, even at very high experimental doses in laboratory tests and have a low potential to bioaccumulation.

The new 3M protective products have passed the regulatory reviews of the U.S. EPA and other environmental agencies around the world.

Why use fluorochemicals at all?

Fluorochemical technology is critical to the development of high-quality, high performance protective materials. To date, no other class of materials has been found that repels soils and stains as effectively.

3M has a continuing commitment to product stewardship and environmental responsibility. Scotchgard™ brand products are safe for their intended use by industrial mills, professional applicators, and consumers. Scotchgard™ Brand products are a sustainable alternative to other protective products currently on the market.

Development of the 'next generation' Scotchgard™ protector products

3M has now successfully commercialised a number of new proprietary ‘next generation’ protective treatment products. These reformulated Scotchgard™ Protector products not only have excellent protection performance characteristics typically associated with products bearing the Scotchgard™ Brand name, but also have enhanced environmental, health and safety benefits. These new products not only have excellent protection performance, but they also have a very favorable environmental, health and safety profile./p>

These new products provide a sustainable alternative to other protective treatments currently available. They also provide a number of useful benefits to society, including:

  • Keeping carpets looking better longer - therefore extending the carpet’s useful life.
  • Easy cleaning of walls and other surfaces, reducing the need to repaint as often while keeping the surface looking clean and fresh.
  • Preventing soiling and staining of leather products, extending their life and helping them look better, longer.
  • Preventing stains on grout, and allowing easier cleaning.
  • Minimizing soil and soap build-up on bathroom fixtures, reducing the use of cleaning products and making cleaning faster and easier.

If you would like more detailed environmental, health and safety data on any 3M product, go to www.3M.com/search.