Saturday, February 22, 2020
toxic traces revisited

In 2005, Minnesota Public Radio first raised questions about whether the state of Minnesota acted quickly enough to investigate contamination from 3M chemicals. Two years later a new 3M chemical has been found in drinking water, affecting more communities, and the state's response is again being questioned.

Go to story

Document The Health Department delayed disclosure
Minnesota Department of Health officials were warned about the problem posed by a new chemical, PFBA, almost two years before Washington County residents were notified.

Go to story Document Cleanup plans in dispute
Five years after 3M stopped making perfluorinated chemicals, the company's plant in Cottage Grove is still releasing the stuff into the Mississippi River.

Go to story Document Public pressure pushes PFC investigations
In the past three months the pace has quickened to investigate and deal with PFCs. Why? In large part, it's because of public pressure
Go to story Document How communities are responding
There's only so much that individual communities can do for their residents at this point.
your voice

your voice

Has the discovery of perfluorochemicals in drinking water in the east metro touched your family? If so, how?
Have you changed your water consumption in the wake of the discovery of perfluorochemicals?

Document Join the discussion.
Document Read what others are saying.


Contamination from the 3M plant and its landfills has been found in the east metro.
Image See a map of the area.

recent developments

Since 2005, scientists and policymakers have taken a closer look at the chemicals involved, and their potential dangers.
DocumentRead about what's new.

previous reporting

Document Toxic Traces: The original documentary
Document More 3M chemicals found in east metro drinking water
Document Washington County residents concerned about tainted water
Document Health Department lowers acceptable exposure levels for PFOA and PFOS
Document 3M says water is safe to drink
Document Lawmaker proposes biomonitoring to track chemical exposure
Document Sheryl Corrigan steps down as head of MPCA
Document MPCA researcher reports dramatic test results as she's forced out
Document MPCA, 3M relationship questioned at legislative hearing


Document Glossary of terms
Document Resources and links


Reporter: Lorna Benson
Editor: Mike Edgerly
Online Editor: Melanie Sommer
Web design: Ben Tesch, Marcus Ekblom
Researcher: Betsy Cole