3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company) is an American multinational conglomerate corporation operating in the fields of industry, worker safety, US health care, and consumer goods. 3M made $32.8 billion in total sales in 2018, and ranked number 95 in the Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue.
Based in Maplewood, a suburb of Saint Paul, Minnesota, 3M produces over 60,000 products under several brands, including abrasives, adhesives, car-care products, dental and orthodontic products, electrical and electronic connecting and insulating materials, electronic circuits, healthcare software and optical films, laminates, paint protection films, passive fire protection, medical products, personal protective equipment (PPE), and window films.
The PPE manufactured by 3M includes N95 respirator masks, which are manufactured in 3M plants in China, Europe, Latin America and the United States, according to 3M spokeswoman Jennifer Ehrlich.
Recently, 3M made controversial news in the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic because of the shortage of N95 masks:
On March 5, 2020, Vice President Mike Pence visited a 3M factory in Minnesota and was told that 35 million masks were available for U.S. healthcare workers.
On March 21, 2020, however, 3M said most of the masks made at their plant in Shanghai, China, had been sold prior to the virus outbreak, and could not confirm when exports would resume. But the White House learned that some of those 3M masks had been destined for non-US markets, which 3M refused to confirm or deny, claiming the customer information to be “confidential information that we do not publicly disclose.”
On April 2, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to acquire the masks.
On April 3, the Trump Administration asked 3M to stop exporting U.S.-made N95 respirator masks to Canada and to Latin American countries.
On April 6, 3M issued a statement saying the company would import into the U.S. 166.5 million N95 masks over the next three months, mostly from its factory in China, which would allow 3M to continue sending the U.S.-made masks to Canada and Latin America. The company also said it would increase domestic production of the masks from 22 million to 35 million, and that the additional 13 million masks would be distributed within the U.S.
Recall that 3M operates in the fields of industry, worker safety, health care and consumer goods; and that 3M produces over 60,000 products that include abrasives, car-care products, PPE, etc. — none of which has to do with adrenochrome, a chemical compound produced by the oxidation of adrenaline — a hormone produced by the adrenal glands and neurons in the the brain stem’s medulla oblongata.
While adrenochrome is not mentioned in the U.S. Controlled Substances Act and is therefore not an illegal substance, adrenochrome has no medical use and is not approved by the FDA as a drug.
In the 1950s and 1960s, several small-scale studies involving 15 or fewer test subjects found that adrenochrome triggered psychotic reactions such as thought disorder, derealization, and euphoria — intense feelings of pleasure, excitement, well being and happiness. Pop culture lore also maintains adrenochrome has life-extending effect — “an immortality serum“. All of which may be why the chemical is rumored to be sought after by certain elites.
In 2007, adrenochrome was featured in an episode of the UK TV series, Lewis. In the episode “Whom the Gods Would Destroy,” Inspector Hathway explains:
“It’s a drug, a very special drug found in a very special place. To harvest adrenochrome, you have to go to Hell itself. You’ve got to murder for it.”
Inspector Lewis further elaborates:
“Adrenochrome…in its purest form which, myth has it, gives the highest of highs. But the thing about it is, in its purest form adrenochrome comes from the human adrenal gland. When you remove that, the donor dies.”
Needless to say, human ingestion of adrenochrome harvested from other humans is a form of cannibalism.
Adrenochrome can be manufactured, but the process is slow and uneconomical, which is a disincentive for the commercial production of the chemical. As explained by 3M’s Deryck F. Boot in U.S. Patent No. 4,501,923 (bold emphasis supplied):
Adrenochrome has been commercially prepared by oxidizing adrenaline or its salts with potassium ferricyanide in an aqueous medium. This process is uneconomical in view of the large quantities of potassium ferricyanide needed and the ensuing effluent disposal problems, together with variability in product quality. It is reported in the literature that persulfates can be employed as the oxidizing agent. The use of the persulfates is advantageous since the problems associated with the use of potassium ferricyanide are precluded and they are significantly cheaper than potassium ferricyanide. However, the oxidation process with persulfates is slow so that long reaction periods are required for complete reaction. This is disadvantageous in operation efficiency of a process. Also, this results in lowering of yields of adrenochrome since the produced adrenochrome may be further oxidized to decompose to black by-products during the reaction. Accordingly, oxidation with persulfates is not practical for the commercial manufacture of adrenochrome.
All of which — 3M not being in the business of adrenochrome; commercial production of adrenochrome is uneconomical — begs the question of why the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, in September 1982, filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to manufacture (“prepare”) adrenochrome. The application was approved in February 1985, and the manufacturing of adrenochrome was assigned to 3M’s subsidiary division, Riker Laboratories, Inc.
3M had acquired Riker Laboratories in the 1960s. In the mid-1990s, 3M changed Riker Laboratories’ name to 3M Pharmaceuticals.
In 2002, 3M’s patent to manufacture adrenochrome expired and, to my knowledge, has not be renewed.