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3M Phasing Out Chemical In Scotchgard®

3M, St. Paul, Minn., is phasing out and finding substitutes for the perfluorooctanyl sulfate (PFOS) chemistry used to produce certain repellents. Among the affected product lines are many Scotchgard products used on textile products including carpets and upholstery fabrics.

Citing increasing attention to the appropriate use and management of persistent materials, Dr. Charles Reich, executive vice president, Specialty Material Markets, said, “While this chemistry has been used effectively for more than 40 years and our products are safe, our decision to phase out production is based on our principles of responsible environmental management.”

In a message relayed through the Carpet and Rug Institute, Dalton, Ga., 3M stated, “…you can continue to sell all of your current products treated with 3M Scotchgard protection under the existing labels.”

Sophisticated testing capabilities have detected PFOS broadly at extremely low levels in the environment and in people. While existing scientific knowledge indicates that its presence at these levels does not pose a human health or environmental risk, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates a potential long-term risk could be associated with its use.

“EPA will work with the company on the development of substitutes to ensure that those chemicals are safe for the environment,” said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner. “3M deserves great credit for identifying this problem and coming forward voluntarily.”

July 2000