3M Leaves 'Forever Chemicals' Behind

3M announces it will eliminate its use of PFAS by the end of 2025

3M tape manufacturing facility.

Getty Images

3M (MMMannounced it will stop manufacturing and work to eliminate its use of so-called “forever chemicals” by the end of 2025.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are used in a variety of products and coatings because of their ability to resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. However, they are known as “forever chemicals” because they take a long time to break down in the environment.

PFAS can also leach into water systems, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned some are linked to cancer and reproductive, developmental, cardiovascular, liver, and immunological effects. 

CEO Mike Roman noted that while PFAS can be safely made and used, the company sees “an opportunity to lead in a rapidly evolving external regulatory and business landscape.”

Costs of Exit

3M explained that its current annual net sales of manufactured PFAS are approximately $1.3 billion, with estimated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of about 16%. It added that discontinuing their use across its portfolio will impact only a small portion of its revenue.

3M anticipates the decision to exit the business will result in total pre-tax charges of between $1.3 billion and $2.3 billion, including $700 million to $1 billion in the current quarter. 

Shares of 3M fell 1% on Tuesday following the announcement, and have lost close to one-third of their value year-to-date. 

MMM shares YTD % change as of 12/20/2022


Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. 3M. “3M to Exit PFAS Manufacturing by the End of 2025.”

  2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “EPA Proposes Designating Certain PFAS Chemicals as Hazardous Substances Under Superfund to Protect People’s Health.”

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.