Chemical group 3M has reached a multi-billion dollar settlement with water companies in the US over pfas contamination. This is a total of 10.3 billion dollars, which is about 9.4 billion euros. The court still has to approve the settlement.
Poly and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) are harmful to health and the environment. For example, they are used in fire-fighting foam and water-repellent clothing. The substances accumulate in the body and reduce the function of the immune system.
3M, an American group that has not accepted responsibility, has been sued thousands of times in the US for pfas contamination. The money from the settlement was to be paid to cities, towns and water companies over the next thirteen years.
Also in the Netherlands and Belgium
Late last month, the Cabinet held 3M responsible for damage caused by pfas in the West Scheldt. The 3M site in Zwijndrecht, Belgium has discharged pfas into the Scheldt, a river that flows into the western Scheldt, for several years.
Last year, the RIVM said that various types of fish, such as crustaceans and western shellfish, which have high concentrations of pfas, should be eaten as little as possible. An inquiry committee of the Flemish Parliament ruled that 3M was responsible for soil contamination with pfas in Zwijndrecht. The group wants the group to pay all the costs of the pollution.
3M says it will stop production of pfas by the end of 2025. The reason given by the company is increasing regulations and potential claims for damages.
Pfas is present not only in water but also in soil. Three years ago, NOS op 3 made the video below about fabrics:
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