cross-posted from:

Not a brand new article but it was new to me

Internal 3M documents show:

  • In the 1950s, 3M animal studies consistently found its PFAS chemicals were toxic.
  • By the early 1960s, 3M knew the chemicals didn’t degrade in the environment.
  • 3M knew by the 1970s its chemicals were widely present in the blood of the general U.S. population.
  • A 1970 study of fish had to be abandoned “to avoid severe stream pollution” and because all the fish died. After being exposed to a chemical, the fish couldn’t stay upright and kept crashing into the fish tank and dying.
  • By 1976, 3M knew the chemicals were in its plant workers’ blood at higher levels than normal.
  • A study of a chemical’s effect on 20 rhesus monkeys in 1978 had to be aborted after 20 days because all the exposed monkeys died.
  • In 1979, a 3M scientist warned that perfluorochemicals posed a cancer risk because they are “known to persist for a long time in the body and thereby give long-term chronic exposure.”
  • In 1979, 3M lawyers advised the company to conceal a 3M chemical compound found in human blood.
  • In 1983, 3M scientists concluded that concerns about its chemicals “give rise to legitimate questions about the persistence, accumulation potential, and ecotoxicity of fluorochemicals in the environment.”
  • Purdy wrote in his resignation letter that in the 1990s, 3M told researchers not to write down their thoughts or have email discussions because of how their “speculations” might be viewed in legal discovery.
  • 3M told employees to mark documents as “attorney-client privileged” regardless of whether attorneys were involved, the state alleged, and minutes of meetings were edited to omit references to health hazards.
  • In 1997, 3M gave DuPont a “material safety data sheet” — which lays out potential hazards — for a chemical. It read, “Warning: contains a chemical which can cause cancer,” citing 1983 and 1993 studies by 3M and DuPont. But 3M removed the label that same year and continued to sell the products for decades without warning.

Donald Taves, a researcher at the University of Rochester, first reported in the scientific journal Nature in 1968 that the general population had been exposed to the compounds. Then Taves discovered his own blood contained it, according to a 3M document marked “confidential,” obtained in the Minnesota attorney general’s lawsuit.

Taves was working with Warren Guy and Wallace Brey at the University of Florida on a research paper.

3M chemist G.H. Crawford took the phone call from Taves, and admitted nothing. He wrote in a confidential interoffice memo: “We (pleaded) ignorance but advised him that Scotchgard was a polymeric material not a F.C. acid.”

(In fact, by this point, the company knew its chemicals accumulated in the human body and were toxic, Swanson told a congressional committee. Moreover, Swanson added, 3M refused to identify the chemicals in its products, which for a generation thwarted the scientific community’s understanding of their health impacts.)

Taves, Guy and Brey later discovered plasma from blood banks in five cities suggested “widespread contamination of human tissues with trace amounts of organic fluorocompounds derived from commercial products” such as floor waxes, wax paper, leather and fabric conditioning agents.

After getting the phone calls from researchers, 3M began analyzing its fluorine compounds. Within weeks, they found a compound that was a likely match.

By late 1975, 3M sent employees to see Guy and Taves at the University of Rochester, where they agreed to try to isolate and identify fluorochemicals in blood.

In 1976, the company began sampling employees’ blood.

Tests showed workers at 3M’s Cottage Grove plant called Chemolite had up to 1,000 times the normal amount of fluorochemicals in their blood.

It just goes on and on like this. fuckin grim stuff

  • JustEnoughDucks
    368 months ago

    Turns out, all of the worst destroyers of our environment and humans all knew exactly what they were doing and went ahead anyway. Exxon had internal documents leaked, 3M, shell, gas industry giants, and then there are probably dozens more whose old internal documents haven’t been leaked.

    0 consequences at all.

    There were no regulations on any of this, this was “the free market.” Companies will wilfully destroy the environment, technology to fix their failings, and literally humans themselves for more quarterly profit.

    • @TheBiscuitLout
      128 months ago

      It’s ironic that the only people with enough spare cash to hire mercenaries to hunt these people down, are the very same polluting scumbags who could do with being hunted down by mercenaries. I somehow think that paying for hired killers would be against GoFundMe’s terms and conditions too, but it would warm my heart a little to know that someone was out there working their way through a list of the past and current board members of those companies.

  • gullible
    158 months ago

    Off the top of my head, I can think of only a few instances where the company creating wholesale ecological disaster was sincerely in the dark. This should, in a reasonable world, considerably lower the bar for “beyond a reasonable doubt.“ It has not, therefore embrace absurdism.

    • @thedirtyknapkin
      48 months ago

      i mean, this feels like a beat for best repeat of leaded gasoline.

      that never got resolved due to the harm it caused people, scientists only convinced the government to ban it after proving the economic impact.

  • TWeaK
    98 months ago

    And they got away with it Scott free.

    • @x4740N
      88 months ago

      And they got away with it scotch free

    • @x4740N
      18 months ago

      deleted by creator