1. Coronavirus
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Helping the world respond to COVID-19

Get answers to frequently asked questions
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3M is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic from all angles and across all relevant stakeholders

During this global crisis, the safety of our employees and the public, including healthcare workers and first-responders, must be paramount. We are grateful for the work our people are doing to support the public health response and are taking actions to protect their well-being, including remote work when possible and robust safety protocols in our facilities.  
Since January, 3M has doubled production of N95 respirators to 1.1 billion per year at its global manufacturing facilities, including in the U.S., Asia and Europe. 3M will double its capacity again to 2 billion per year within the next 12 months. 
In this crisis, 3M is experiencing an unprecedented surge in demand for N95 respirators, and demand will outpace supply for the foreseeable future. As we urgently work to expand our own production, we are also working with governments and others to prioritize, triage and redirect supplies to serve the most critical needs and areas. 3M is also partnering with other companies on a range of innovative solutions to protect healthcare workers and first responders.  

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Our response by the numbers

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  • 24/7

    The 3M global respirator supply chain is running 24/7 worldwide

  • Doubled

    Doubled global N95 output rate to 1.1 billion per year, plan to double again to 2 billion within 12 months

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  • 90%

    In the U.S., 90% of N95s going to healthcare and public health with the remaining deployed to other critical industries such as energy, food and pharmaceuticals

  • >1 million

    >1 million N95 respirators/day produced in the U.S. for healthcare workers (in April 2020)

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Transforming our supply chain to support N95 respirator demand

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3M: actions to deliver respirators within the United States video
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Timeline of 3M actions

  • April 2020

    • 3M is producing 35 million N95 respirators per month in the United States.
    • 3M is working with government agencies and distributors to send 90% of these to healthcare facilities and first responders, with the remainder going to critical infrastructure such as food production, pharmaceuticals and energy.
    • In early April, 3M reached an agreement with the U.S. government that will enable FEMA to import 166.5 million 3M respirators into the United States from our plants in Asia.
    • 3M, Congress and U.S. Administration officials continue to discuss supply-demand challenges, as well as policies to promote domestic production, increase supply and other actions to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers and first responders across the U.S.
    • 3M expects to increase respirator production capacity to 50 million per month in China, an almost 200% increase from average 2019 levels.
    • 3M and Cummins Corporation, headquartered in Indiana, announced a partnership to increase production of high-efficiency particulate filters for use in 3M's powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs).
    • 3M filed multiple lawsuits against alleged price-gougers in the United States and Canada, while partnering with state attorneys general and state and federal law enforcement to stop fraud, price-gouging, and counterfeits of 3M respirators.
    • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an additional Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allowing the use of KN95 and other respirators from China. (04.03.20)
    • President Trump issued an order under the Defense Production Act directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to acquire from 3M the number of N-95 respirators determined appropriate by the U.S. Administration.  (04.02.20)

    March 2020

    • 3M increased U.S. production of N95 respirators to 35 million a month, while continuing to increase production of respirators at all of its worldwide plants.
    • 3M, Congress and U.S. Administration officials continued discussing possible solutions to supply-demand challenges, along with policies to promote domestic production and supply of PPE.
    • 3M secured authorization from the Chinese government to import 10 million respirators manufactured by 3M China into the U.S. (week of 03.30.20)
    • 3M and Ford Motor Company, headquartered in Michigan, announced a partnership to increase production of PAPRs. (03.24.20)
    • 3M delivered a letter to the Attorney General of the United States, Chair of the National Governors Association, and President of the National Association of Attorneys General highlighting 3M’s actions to curb counterfeiting and price gouging of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic and urging the U.S. federal and state governments and law enforcement officials to continue to lead the fight, with 3M’s support and assistance. (03.24.20)
    • 3M launched a hotline and website to help identify and fight fraud, price gouging and counterfeiting of 3M respirators. (03.31.20)
    • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allowing the use of more respirators, including certain N95s, available to health care personnel. (03.02.20)

    February 2020

    • 3M began working with the FDA in connection with FDA’s decision to provide emergency use authorization relating to the use of respirators to help in the fight against COVID-19 in healthcare facilities.
    • 3M increased U.S. production of N95 respirators to 33 million per month, with the 3M North American respirator supply chain running 24 hours per day and seven days per week.
    • 3M assisted Chinese governmental authorities’ efforts to validate and verify N95 respirator sales offers from non-Chinese entities and identify cases of potential fraudulent behavior.

    January 2020

    • 3M began increasing production in the U.S. of N95 respirators from 22 million prior to the COVID-19 outbreak to 26 million per month in anticipation of higher demand.
    • 3M and U.S. Administration officials began discussing supply-demand challenges, along with policies to promote domestic production and supply of PPE.
    • 3M ramped up global respirator production at facilities around the world with a goal of doubling global output rate to 1.1 billion per year.
    • 3M increased respirator production at its site in China, running 24 hours per day and seven days per week, including during the Lunar New Year holiday
    • 3M assisted the China CDC as it developed guidelines regarding the use of all forms of respiratory protection in the health care setting.
    • The Shanghai Municipal Government issued a Notice of Expropriating Production Capacity in Emergency to 3M. (01.27.20)
    • WHO declares COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. (01.30.20)

    December 2019

    • The Wuhan government confirmed that health authorities were treating dozens of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause. WHO states it received its first report of "a pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan, China"  to the WHO Country Office in China on the same day. (12.31.19)
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Fighting Fraud & Counterfeit Activity

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We have created a new 3M hotline for the U.S. and Canada that end-users and purchasers of 3M products can call for information on how to identify authentic 3M products and to ensure products are from 3M authorized distributors. We have also shared our pricing in the statement below for many of the most common 3M N95 respirator models sold in the U.S. to help customers identify and avoid inflated prices.

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FAQs about 3M and COVID-19

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Our customers around the world have had many questions for us due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Below is a list of the most frequently asked question we have received, with answers and links to direct you to more information.

  • An N95 respirator is not a mask. Certain disposable filtering facepiece particulate respirators (like N95s) are similar in appearance to many surgical/procedure masks. Healthcare workers use surgical masks to help protect the patient and sterile field from particles from the healthcare worker as well as to help protect the healthcare workers from high-pressure streams of blood. Respirators contain filter media and form a seal to the face and are designed to help reduce the wearer’s exposure to airborne particles, including droplets that may contain bacteria and viruses. For more information, view the Respirators and Surgical Masks: A Comparison PDF linked here.
  • Since January, we ramped up production of N95 respirators and doubled our global output to a rate of more than 1.1 billion per year – including 35 million a month in the United States. In the U.S., we expect to be producing N95 respirators at a rate of 50 million per month in June, a 40% increase from current levels.
  • We have not increased the prices we charge for respirators as a result of this global crisis, and we will not increase our current prices for respirators being used to help address the pandemic. We do not – and will not – tolerate price gouging, fraud, deception or other activities that unlawfully exploit the demand for critical 3M products during a pandemic. We’re working with law enforcement agencies around the world to aggressively pursue third parties that seek to take advantage of this crisis. We have also filed civil lawsuits against multiple price-gougers and bad actors who have implied or stated an association with 3M to defraud purchasers; in most of those lawsuits, we seek injunctions to stop further bad conduct. If we recover monetary damages, we will donate those to COVID-19 relief efforts. We’re also, in coordination with e-marketplace operators, making referrals to law enforcement authorities, taking down websites with fraudulent or counterfeit product offerings, removing false or deceptive social media pages, and sending cease and desist letters as a first step prior to taking further legal action.

    Please view the Fraudulent Activity, Price Gouging, and Counterfeit Products PDF linked here for more information.

    Additionally, if you’re in the U.S. or Canada and you’re concerned about any potential fraudulent or counterfeit activity, please contact us via our website linked here.

  • When properly selected and worn, any of 3M’s elastomeric respirator facepieces – when used with an appropriate particulate filter – will help reduce exposure to airborne droplets or aerosols, including those that may contain virus or bacteria. Our half facepiece reusable respirator options include the 6000 Series, 6500 Series, or 7500 Series. All of these would require separate eye protection, per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please note that our full facepiece respirators feature integrated eye protection. Additionally, you’d need to select an appropriate particulate filter, and one such option is our 6092X-series cartridges and 7000-series particulate filters, which feature hard cases that can be wiped down as part of your facility's infection prevention and disinfection protocols.

    Additional Resources:

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The latest news from 3M

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Critical 3M products and resources

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  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    Proper selection and use are key to utilizing respirators to help reduce exposure to airborne contaminants. Find Technical Bulletins, How to Videos, Fit Testing Resources and more information to help you protect your employees and yourself.

  • Commercial Cleaning Solutions

    Get information and application tips on 3M cleaning and disinfectant products for use by facility managers, building service contractors and all who clean public spaces.

  • Supporting Health Care Providers

    Every day, health care workers on the front lines put themselves at risk to ensure others are cared for. 3M Medical offers resources and information to help protect providers and patients, especially during this challenging time.

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The science of COVID-19

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If you have questions about the virus and how to best protect yourself, please consult the sources below for the most current guidelines and recommended precautions.

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