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What is 3M Doing?

What 3M is doing

Even though the company has phased out of the production and use of PFOA, PFOS and PFOS-related products, 3M remains committed to furthering scientific research, to sharing that research and to continuing to offer the company’s expertise to government agencies around the world.

We are continuing to monitor employees' health

Although 3M has completed the voluntary phaseout announced in May of 2000, the company continues to monitor the health of its production employees. These studies continue to confirm that no adverse human health effects have resulted from exposure to PFOS or PFOA.

Reference: 3M Employee Medical Studies (PDF, 26 KB)

Ongoing research

In addition, 3M continues to conduct its own research and to fund university studies around the world to advance the understanding of these materials in the environment and human health. Some of this research is through unrestricted grants by 3M.

Reference: 3M Research Grants (PDF, 15 KB)

Sharing our research with others

3M has been sharing its research and data with the scientific community in peer-reviewed scientific journals and with environmental and health officials around the world. Government policy makers, scientists and regulators have found the company’s extensive knowledge and expertise about the chemistry helpful. 3M’s work with the U.S. EPA is well documented and is available through the following sources:

Reference: www.epa.gov/opptintr/pfoa/index.htm

For PFOS, PFOS-related substances and PFOA:
Reference: EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxic Substances AR-226 docket. Docket is not available online but content CD's are available by calling (202) 566-0180 or email: oppt.ncic@epa.gov

Working with all units of government

In addition to the U.S. EPA, 3M has also been working with Health Canada and Environment Canada; health and environmental agencies in Australia, Sweden and Germany; the Department of Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (U.K.); and several committees of the European Commission and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In the United States, 3M continues to work with state and local units of government, such as the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and the communities and cities of Decatur, Alabama, Oakdale, Minnesota, Lake Elmo, Minnesota, and Cottage Grove, Minnesota.

3M has been consistent about keeping units of government informed about PFCs. In the late 1990s 3M voluntarily shared its findings of the widespread presence of PFOS and PFOA in people to the U.S. EPA. Since that time, 3M and researchers from governmental agencies around the world have collaborated on research and shared other findings regarding the chemistry. The collaboration and information sharing has furthered the greater scientific understanding of PFCs. 3M scientists continue to serve as leaders in this field and are often asked to lead panels or present at international PFC conferences.

Along with sharing its expertise among scientists, 3M has also made its experts available to the media. In late 2009, 3M held a meeting for interested reporters regarding the numerous studies published on PFCs (PFOA and PFOS). The content of this briefing was to provide an overview of a presentation that had been recently given by 3M to the Office of Water at the EPA (October 2009). Tom Meersman of the Star Tribune attended and so did Lorna Benson of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). Bob Shaw of the Pioneer Press declined.

In a subsequent story by the Star Tribune, Mr. Meersman did not disclose the briefing held by 3M for reporters and implied an overall lack of transparency by 3M in its dealings with government officials. 3M believes the facts do not support this assertion and further believes Mr. Meersman had a duty to disclose 3M’s briefing for reporters on the subject matter.

Below are links to the Star Tribune story, the EPA’s website where the public materials can be viewed, and the bibliography of scientific literature.

Star Tribune, February 8, 2010: http://www.startribune.com/local/83773837.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

EPA Office of Water materials: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/pfoa/pubs/activities.html#seminar

Bibliography of scientific literature: 

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