Sector News

Minnesota, a birthplace of PFAS, tackles contaminated waste sites on multiple fronts

August 27, 2023
Chemical Value Chain

The state of Minnesota — home to 3M, a longtime manufacturer of substances in the PFAS category — is stepping up efforts to address harmful environmental effects from these “forever chemicals” in the wake of a legal settlement and a recently enacted ban on using them in products.

The state’s actions are informed by its own in-depth research about potential treatment methods and costs for mitigating levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances at waste facilities. But even with a recent influx of funding, the state still faces difficult choices about how and where to prioritize its cleanup efforts.

Minnesota has a long history with the chemicals. In the 1940s, 3M began manufacturing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances at its Cottage Grove facility. The chemicals, which resist moisture and grease, were used in hundreds of products ranging from popcorn bags to raincoats for decades.They have since been linked to cancer, immune suppression and other serious health issues, while also contaminating soil, aquifers, waterways, landfills and other sites across the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” READ MORE

By April Reese


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