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17. 3M Earplugs
Minneapolis-based 3M manufactured these dual-ended earplugs for hearing protection from close range firearms and other loud impact noises. Due to the defective design, the earplugs can slightly loosen and subtly move out of the ear canal just enough for the loud sounds to cause hearing damage. 3M knew of these design defects, but knowingly sold them to the US military from 2003-2015.
Service members and combat veterans have
reported multiple side effects including:
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
Permanent hearing damage
3M agreed to pay $9.1 million in a False
Claims Act lawsuit to settle allegations that
it knowingly supplied the United States
military with defective earplugs.
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