3M and Toxic Water: The High Price of Innovation

The Fallout of Forever Chemicals in Woodbury Minnesota

In the early 2000’s, 3M stopped production of PFAS chemicals, also known as “Forever Chemicals.” These toxins, used by 3M since the early 1950’s, were manufactured for products such as stain repellents and nonstick cookware. They are durable and useful for a variety of purposes. They also do not break down in the environment or in the human body.

By the time 3M stopped production of these toxic chemicals, the damage had already been done.

3M’s impact on the local ecosystem has made several headlines since the discovery of these PFAS chemicals. The city of Woodbury had to stop using six of its 19 city water wells, as the concentration of PFAS had increased to unsafe levels according to the state health department. And in 2018, 3M paid out an $850M settlement to address the impact of these chemicals on the city’s water supplies.

To respond to the issues that city health officials detected within the water, the city has begun to take substantial steps forward. A temporary treatment plant is being installed to treat the wells that were impacted by the PFAS chemicals.

Read the full article and learn more about Woodbury’s efforts to solve their water issues by clicking here.

To learn more about Minnesota state standards for PFAS chemicals, click here.

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