The Scotchguard name was well known for carpet and fabric protection since its invention in 1953. However, in recent years, 3M discovered that Scotchguard was breaking down into a substance known as perfluorooctanyl sulfonate, or PFOS, which lingers in the environment.
3M decided in May 2000 to end worldwide production of PFOS.
3M¿s new Scotchguard products are based on proprietary flourochemicals that have been shown, through testing, to not accumulate in living organisms, the company said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reviewed all of the ingredients used in the new formulas and none were found to raise any concerns, an agency spokesman said.
Five new products are already being commercialized. Four are for carpet. The fifth, for leather upholstery and apparel, was introduced in June in Europe, and will be launched globally in September.
Late in the year, 3M plans to expand Scotchguard into new territory, working with a major paint manufacturer on a flat latex paint that will be easy to clean and keep its flat finish even after scrubbing, according to the company.