Lawsuit: 3M contamination led to more cancer, infertility

The contamination caused $5 billion in health and environmental damage for which 3M should be liable, Attorney General Lori Swanson said Friday in a court filing.
The filing alleges that 3M knew the groundwater was contaminated years before it stopped making perflourinated chemicals, known as PFCs, and that it withheld critical information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Sunding studied epidemiological data and birth and death records for Washington County and Oakdale from 2001 and 2016.
He found Oakdale had a 30 percent increase in low birth weights and premature births compared to neighboring communities.
“3M believes these chemicals present no harm at the levels they are observed in Minnesota,” said William Brewer III, 3M’s lead attorney.
The company began manufacturing PFCs in the 1940s and stopped production in 2002.
The company discarded the chemicals in landfills in Oakdale, Woodbury and Lake Elmo up until the 1970s.
Pollution was discovered in groundwater in several Washington County cities in 2004.
The lawsuit was first filed in 2010.
After a series of procedural delays, the case is scheduled for trial early next year.

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