Atlanta

Major company vows to ban ‘forever drugs’ following intense pressure from customers

ATLANTA — A big announcement came from 3M Tuesday about banning forever chemicals in their products.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Sophia Choi initially showed us the dangers these chemicals pose in August.

The announcement comes after intense pressure from unhappy consumers and even investors.

3M shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars to settle complaints about those forever chemicals here in the U.S. and in other countries, and they’re still facing lawsuits, including one in California.

Channel 2 Action News started looking into the effects of forever chemicals on some of the most vulnerable -- soon to be moms, like Yasinia Rios-Rey.

The Fulton County resident used to have with multicolored dyed hair, lots of makeup and long, fake nails. All of those things are full of forever chemicals that build up and stay in your body.

So she decided to cut them out for her baby’s health.

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“I feel more energetic, less fatigued. It helps you love yourself more as well. Like emotional-wise,” Rios-Rey said.

Now, the company that makes Post-it Notes and Scotch Tape will soon ban PFAS, or forever chemicals.

In a statement, 3M said it will “exit all PFAS manufacturing by the end of 2025.”

The company also said it will “work to discontinue use of PFAS across our product portfolio by 2025.”

Scientists say you can find forever chemicals everywhere -- in your food, in your water, even in the dust in your home.

Those chemicals can lead to all kinds of health issues, like cancers.

For children, it can also lead to developmental and behavioral problems.

Researchers say that may be why we’re seeing so many fights and other problems with students these days.

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“Things like lower IQ, symptoms that are ADHD -- there’s a lot of concern about autism,” said University of California at San Francisco researcher Tracey Woodruff, Ph. D.

“Our genetics don’t change. So it really it has to be our environment that’s changing that’s leading to these increases,” Emory University researcher Carmen Marsit, Ph. D. said.

To limit your exposure to the chemicals, researchers say watch what you put on your body, like polish and perfumes.

Also watch what you put in your body, like processed food. Stick to fresh and try to get organic.

One other thing you can do is clean that dust in your home and use vinegar and baking soda instead of store-bought products that are full of chemicals.

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