PFAS & Their Uses

PFAS can refer to a broad category of thousands of compounds with distinct and widely varying properties and characteristics. They can be gases, liquids, or solids - and many different organizations define “PFAS” differently.

People worldwide depend on everyday products that are made by many companies, including 3M, using PFAS (sometimes also called fluorochemicals). These substances are critical to multiple industries – including the cars we drive, planes we fly, computers and smart phones we use to stay connected, and more. 

PFAS are used in everyday applications to promote durability, water resistance, and many other qualities. They are found in many important parts of modern life, including:

  • Automobiles, including electric and conventional vehicles, to help protect fuel lines, seals, and batteries
  • Aerospace, to help allow for interference-free communication from the cockpit to the wings, tail, and other equipment
  • Advanced communications networks, including WiFi and cellular data networks
  • Consumer goods, including non-stick cookware, food packaging, cosmetics, and clothing
  • Electronics, such as semiconductors and batteries, which are vital for everything from smart phones and wearable fitness trackers to national security technologies
  • Medical technologies and devices, like catheters, stents, and needles, as well as transdermal patches that are used for medicine delivery
  • Medicines and pharmaceuticals, including life-saving therapeutics that treat COVID-19, as well as common prescription medicines that treat conditions like anxiety or depression
  • Sustainable and renewable energy, including solar panels, windmills, and fuel cells

3M’s products, including those containing PFAS, are safe and effective for their intended uses in everyday life. People can learn about PFAS and health science here.

3M has announced it will exit per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) manufacturing and work to discontinue the use of PFAS across its product portfolio by the end of 2025.

3M will:

  • Exit all PFAS manufacturing by the end of 2025: 3M will discontinue manufacturing all fluoropolymers, fluorinated fluids, and PFAS-based additive products. We will help facilitate an orderly transition for customers. 3M intends to fulfill current contractual obligations during the transition period.
  • Work to discontinue use of PFAS across our product portfolio by the end of 2025: We have already reduced our use of PFAS over the past three years through ongoing research and development, and will continue to innovate new solutions for customers.

We are on our way to achieving these goals. 3M was the first company to announce an exit from certain PFAS compounds in the early 2000s. Since then, we have reduced our use of PFAS through ongoing research and development and will continue to innovate new solutions for customers. For example, we have eliminated the use of PFAS in our Scotchgard™ products that help protect soft surfaces in homes.

3M’s current annual net sales of manufactured PFAS are approximately $1.3 billion, which is approximately 4% of 3M’s annual revenue. In addition, 3M will work to discontinue the use of PFAS across our product portfolio by the end of 2025, which represents a small portion of 3M's overall revenue.

Today, 3M makes and sells hundreds of thousands of individual products – a small portion of which include PFAS. To learn more about 3M products that use PFAS*, click here. (Last Updated: Sept. 11, 2023).

"This is a moment that demands the kind of innovation 3M is known for," said 3M chairman and chief executive officer Mike Roman. "While PFAS can be safely made and used, we also see an opportunity to lead in a rapidly evolving external regulatory and business landscape to make the greatest impact for those we serve. This action is another example of how we are positioning 3M for continued sustainable growth by optimizing our portfolio, innovating for our customers, and delivering long-term value for our shareholders."

For convenience, this website aggregates information about products that were independently designed, manufactured, and/or sold by subsidiaries of 3M Company, in addition to products that were designed, manufactured, and/or sold by 3M Company itself.

*This list represents 3M products that contain intentionally added PFAS and that were sold in the United States in the past two years, based on 3M’s current knowledge following a reasonable investigation. The information on this website is not a discontinuation notice. We will keep customers informed of potential impacts to the availability of products they purchase from 3M, including issuing discontinuation notices to customers buying directly from 3M as appropriate.

The Science of Fluorochemistries

Fluorochemistries are important materials that are used in everyday products. Some of these materials were invented decades ago, and others are new.

There are thousands of unique fluorochemistries, and no two are exactly alike. Many of them are used in everyday applications to promote durability, water resistance, or other important qualities.

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View 3M’s position on recent news relating to fluorochemistry regulation and stewardship.

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3M welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with external stakeholders who share our goal of advancing the science of fluorochemistry.         

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