1. Coronavirus
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Helping the world respond to COVID-19

Get answers to frequently asked questions

3M is playing a critical role in the global response to COVID-19

During this global crisis, the safety of our employees and the public, including health care workers and first responders fighting COVID-19, is our highest priority.
We are making more respirators than ever before. Since January, we have doubled global N95 respirator production and are on track to increase our capacity to produce N95 and other respirators to 2 billion per year globally by the end of 2020.
As we further increase production of N95 respirators in the U.S. and import additional respirators from our plants in Asia, we can continue supporting the critical needs of health care workers, while also supporting workplace safety – enabling a limited re-opening of the economy.
Demand for personal protective equipment continues to far exceed supply for the entire industry. We continue to work with governments, health agencies, distributors and others to prioritize supplies to the most critical customer and public health needs.
3M is also partnering with others on innovative solutions, including investigating ways for hospitals to decontaminate, reuse and extend the life of N95 respirators under FDA Emergency Use Authorizations, helping Ford Motor Company rapidly design a new powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR), partnering with engine manufacturer Cummins to increase production of high-efficiency particulate filters for use in 3M PAPRs, and collaborating with MIT to develop a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19.
We are grateful for the work our people are doing to support the public health response and are taking actions to protect and support them, including offering remote work when possible and providing robust safety protocols in our facilities.

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Timeline of 3M actions

  • July 2020

    • As of July 7, 3M investigated more than 4,000 reports globally of suspected fraud, counterfeiting and price gouging; filed 18 lawsuits in 10 U.S. states and Canada; and secured the removal of 10,000 social media posts and more than 7,000 websites and e-commerce listings with fraudulent or counterfeit products.
    • 3M and MIT have partnered to develop a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19. The test, once validated, would detect viral antigens and deliver results within minutes via a paper-based device.
    • 3M supplied U.S. government with a total of 166.5 million respirators over a three-month period for import into the United States from our plants in Asia.
    • 3M Open Fund announced $1.5 million would be directed primarily toward Minnesota nonprofit organizations focused on supporting individuals impacted by COVID-19 and those fighting for social justice initiatives.
    • 3M donated 6,000 powered air-purifying respirators, collaboratively developed with Ford Motor Company, to Direct Relief for distribution to healthcare providers in need across the United States.

    June 2020

    • 3M reaches N95 production rate of nearly 50 million per month in the U.S., with the majority going to health care and public health workers.
    • 3M supplies FEMA with more than 149 million respirators from our plants in Asia Pacific for import into the United States by the end of June, with goal of a total of 166.5 million by mid-July.
    • 3M begins producing additional respirators in the United States as part of the US Department of Defense contracts.
    • 3M and HP announce collaboration to offer to customers free-of-charge tools to create graphics to help communicate social distancing and health and safety messages as public spaces, workplaces and businesses reopen.
    • 3M initiative to combat fraud, counterfeiting and price gouging continues with 17 lawsuits filed since April to stop bad actors, and thousands of fraudulent websites and social media posts removed.

    May 2020

    • By the end of May, 3M delivered more than 90 million 3M respirators made in its plants in Asia to FEMA for import into the U.S. via FEMA air- and sea-bridge, per the agreement reached with the U.S. government in early April.
    • 3M announced additional legal actions as part of its global effort to combat fraud and counterfeiting of 3M respirators. 
    • Newly designed powered air-purifying respirators, or PAPRs, developed by Ford in close collaboration with 3M, began shipping for use by health care workers fighting COVID-19.
    • 3M awarded two contracts through the U.S. Department of Defense to further expand 3M’s production of N95 respirators in the U.S.

    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

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

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.

The latest news from 3M

Critical 3M products and resources

  • 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.

The science of COVID-19

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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The brands listed above are trademarks of 3M.
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