3M is proud to help lead the fight against COVID-19 and help support a return to life. We are helping businesses return to work as economies reopen and recover, and supporting the public health and government response to COVID-19. And we are planning for what comes next, collaborating with governments, customers, and stakeholders around the world to share our expertise on how to better prepare for future pandemics and emergencies.
In 2020, 3M made 2 billion respirators globally, approximately half delivered in the U.S.
Sharing expertise on how to better prepare for future pandemics and emergencies with governments, customers, and stakeholders around the world.
Applying 3M Science across industries to help people return to work, and to the people and places they love.
Collaborating on innovative solutions to create PPE and other critical supplies used in the fight against COVID-19.
Working with governments, health agencies, distributors and others to prioritize supplies to critical customer and public health needs.
Accelerated production of other solutions, including biopharma filtration, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants.
Since the outbreak, we have provided resources to aid our communities as they navigate the pandemic.
3M continues its global effort to help protect the public against those who try to exploit this situation.
Find information on our global efforts; alerts on potential counterfeit product; tips on how to identify fraudulent offers, counterfeit products and price gouging; how to report a concern and more.
Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions we have received during the COVID-19 pandemic, with answers and links to direct you to more information.
A non-medical face covering or face mask is not the same as a surgical mask or a respirator. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. CDC says surgical masks and respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for health care workers and other first responders.
A non-medical face mask–such as a reusable cloth mask or a disposable mask–may help capture some respiratory droplets expelled by the wearer, which could help protect those around you as you breathe out, talk, cough, or sneeze.
Surgical masks are used by health care workers as a barrier to help protect them from high-velocity streams of liquids, such as blood, that they may be exposed to during certain medical procedures. Surgical masks also help capture some particles and droplets expelled by the wearer, such as those that may contain viruses and bacteria.
An N95 respirator or similar respirator is intended to seal tightly to the face, covering the mouth and nose, and can filter at least 95% of airborne particles, including those that may contain viruses and bacteria. N95 respirators play a crucial role for health care workers, first responders and other essential workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to maintaining 6 feet of physical distance, the U.S. CDC currently recommends “wearing non-medical cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” These face coverings are not the same as a surgical mask or a respirator.
According to the U.S. CDC, people who should not wear a face covering/mask include children under the age of 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or has a related health condition, and anyone who can't remove a face covering/mask without help.
Face coverings/masks are NOT a substitute for a government-approved respirator and should not be relied upon for respiratory protection (wearer exposure reduction).
At this time, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not made recommendations for respirator use by the general public. The CDC has recommended use of masks (not respirators) by members of the general public. More information on this can be found here.
As this is an evolving situation, we highly recommend that you consult local authorities and the WHO and CDC websites frequently for the most up-to-date information. Respirator use by the general public can be found here.
We continue to prioritize critical health care needs while supporting the broader opening of the economy. We are working to distribute respirators for use by workers who are returning to the workplace, while ensuring front-line healthcare workers have the PPE they need to effectively respond to COVID-19. Please work with your employer to determine what PPE is suitable for your workplace and how to secure it through 3M authorized distributors and federal and state government agencies.
Consult the sources below for the most current information, guidelines and recommended precautions.