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3M to pay $99 mn to settle dispute over harmful chemicals

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3M will pay $99 million to settle complaints related to health and the environment./AFP
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Oct 20, 2021 - 10:22 AM

WASHINGTON — The US group 3M, which among other things manufactures anti-Covid protective face masks, said Tuesday it will pay $99 million to settle complaints related to health and the environment.

“3M has reached a collaborative agreement to resolve ongoing litigation and negotiations related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) near 3M’s Decatur, Alabama facility,” the company said in a statement.

Lawsuits had been filed against 3M in three US states – Alabama, Illinois and Minnesota – as well as in Germany and Belgium, charging that its products contain potentially harmful chemicals known as PFAS which are present in wide variety of products such as Teflon, paints, packaging or textiles.

The agreement was signed with the city of Decatur, Morgan County, plaintiffs from Saint John, and the Tennessee Riverkeeper organization, said the manufacturer of post-it notes, adhesive tape and Covid face masks.

“Through these agreements, subject to final approval, 3M will support activities to address PFAS that 3M manufactured or disposed of, as well as to enhance the quality of life for Decatur residents,” the group said.

3M said in April 2019 that it had set aside $548 million to settle the dispute, as well as another dealing with complaints against its coal mines in Kentucky and West Virginia.

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