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3M and Scotchgard: Scotchgard in French fries? Pizza? Candy bars?

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The 3M documents in the EPA file offer few specifics on names of products that contain PFOS. However, a manual for taking field samples of PFOS instructs technicians to prevent contamination of the samples by avoiding personal use of the following products that contain perfluorinated chemicals: (view entire document)

  • Post-Its
  • New clothing (must be washed at least 6 times)
  • Water-resistant clothing
  • Tyvek suits
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Fast food (e.g., chicken sandwiches and french fries)
  • Pizza
  • Bakery items
  • Beverages
  • Candy
  • Cookies
  • Candy bars
  • Blue ice

Some PFOS chemicals are specifically formulated to repel oil, grease and water - a property that makes them useful as coatings for food packaging, including candy wrappers, cardboard boxes used for fast food, and bags for microwave popcorn. In addition to the well-known Scotchgard stain repellents used on carpets and furniture in the home, just a few of the other products that can contain PFOS include: (view entire document) window treatments, fabric wallcoverings, decorative pillows, slipcovers, bedspreads and comforters, mattress pads, shower curtains, table linens, carpet and upholstery fabrics in cars and vans, outdoor furniture, leather clothing, footwear, accessories, photographic products and other imaging materials, raincoats, skiwear, golfwear, boat covers, backpacks, tents, shirts, pants, jackets, shoes, boots, gloves, and handbags. (view entire document)

How could 3M executives have claimed not to know how PFOS gets into blood? To paraphrase the company's medical director, that's a very interesting question.

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last updated: march.27.2009

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