May 22, 2024 - News

ProPublica: 3M "gaslit" employee over "forever chemical" findings

3M's headquarters building, a tall white building with a colorful wrap

3M headquarters in Maplewood. Photo: Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

"You've got literally the medical director of 3M saying, 'We studied this, there are no effects.' I wasn't about to challenge that … It almost would have been too much to bear at the time."
— Kris Hansen, former 3M chemist in interviews with ProPublica

In 1997, Hansen began running blood tests that suggested widespread contamination from "forever chemicals" leaching out of 3M products "and into all of us," ProPublica reported.

  • Hansen's bosses downplayed the results, the outlet reported.

Why it matters: "Forever chemicals" have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and immune system problems, the Minnesota Reformer reported.

Catch up quick: In 2018, 3M paid Minnesota an $850 million settlement for polluting drinking water.

The other side: A spokesperson told ProPublica that 3M is winding down production of forever chemicals by 2025 — though more than 16,000 of its products still contain them.

  • 3M declined to answer most questions about Hansen.
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