3M Heads to Trial in ‘Existential’ $143B Forever-Chemicals Litigation

3M Co. is facing an existential threat from lawsuits relating to “forever chemicals” that have allegedly been linked to cancer. The company could be liable for $143 billion in cleanup costs alone. The lawsuits are part of some 4,000 cases against 3M, many of which have been brought by state and local governments. The first trial, which relates to pollution caused by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), will begin on June 5 in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina. PFAS have been used in a range of products, from nonstick pans to cosmetics, and can settle in soil, water, or human bodies.


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