MINNEAPOLIS - A new analysis by the Minnesota Department of Health finds drinking water contaminated by 3M Co. apparently has not caused higher rates of cancer or low birth weights in parts of Washington County compared with the rest of the state.
The Star Tribune reports the results were released Wednesday before the state's lawsuit against 3M goes to trial next week. Those results contradict the conclusions of an expert hired by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.
State health officials say they used widely accepted statistical methods to reach their conclusions. They note their findings are identical to those they reported in 2007 and 2015.
The company began manufacturing non-stick PFCs in the 1940s and stopped production in 2002.
Officials from Swanson's office say the state Health Department has long acknowledged the health risks associated with PFCs, and referred to an internal staff email that allegedly calls the study "weak" and "potentially embarassing."
On Friday MDPH spokesman Doug Schulz released a statement on the email referred to by the AG's office. "The concerns raised in the email of January 31 were subsequently addressed prior to the release of the reports. These concerns did not pertain to the conclusions of the analyses, but rather with a desire to ensure that we could develop additional examples and background information to more easily explain our analyses to the community. The reports had full and proper technical review, and our reports are supported by all staff involved."