Clinician wearing PPE in surgery

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Respiratory Protection

  • We are fully committed to helping fight the spread of COVID-19 by supporting healthcare workers around the world. This pandemic is affecting all of us, and we are doing everything we can to support public health–including increasing our global output of Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs), such as N95s, and getting them to healthcare providers on the front lines of the pandemic. With supply challenges around the world, many facilities are looking to optimize their personal protective equipment (PPE).

    Currently, demand for personal protective equipment continues to far exceed supply for the entire industry with some health care facilities increasing their consumption of PPE by up to 20 times pre-pandemic. As we continue to expand our production, we are also working with governments and others to prioritize, triage and redirect respirator supplies to serve the most critical needs and areas. Here you’ll find information pertaining to respirator supply optimization and extended use of respirators based on guidelines from organizations like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Strategies for Respiratory Protection Conservation



Frequently Asked Questions About Respirators

  • How many respirators does 3M produce globally per year?
    We’re on track to increase our manufacturing capacity to a rate of 2 billion per year globally by the end of 2020. As we continue to expand our production, we are also working with governments and others to prioritize, triage and redirect supplies to serve the most critical needs and areas.
  • In early April, 3M reached agreement with the U.S. government on a plan that, with the Trump Administration’s assistance, will enable 3M to supply FEMA with 166.5 million respirators imported into the United States over a 3-month period starting in mid-April, from our plants in Asia. In June, the U.S. government again used its authority under the Defense Production Act (DPA) and extended its priority orders to continue these imports, at rates and durations to be determined based on current conditions.
  • Since the pandemic began, 3M has worked with authorized distributors to deliver hundreds of millions of respirators to frontline health care workers and first responders around the world. Within individual regions and countries, 3M works with governments, health agencies, distributors and others to prioritize supplies to the most critical needs. The reality is the demand for respirators will continue to exceed supply for the foreseeable future. We have huge increases in demand for some of our products. Some health care facilities have increased their consumption of PPE by up to 20 times pre-pandemic. While we can deliver more products as we invest in more manufacturing infrastructure to serve the public, demand severely outstrips supply.
  • Since the pandemic began, in the U.S., 3M has delivered nearly 100 million N95 respirators directly to hospitals and more than 100 million to FEMA and the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile. We are working with state governments, FEMA, and others to prioritize, triage and redirect supplies to serve the most critical needs.
  • U.S. hospitals in need of respirators should work through their primary distributor and FEMA. Our distributor network represents the most efficient way to get products.
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  • Clinician wearing PPE
  • PPE and Skin Protection

    Prolonged use of PPE may impact skin and cause various levels of skin breakdown. Explore some simple ways you can help protect skin and minimize that breakdown.


Respiratory Protection Options for Health Care

Explore the range of respiratory protection options for the healthcare setting:

PPE and Respiratory Protection Selection Considerations

Additional Respiratory Protection Resources

  • We know you have questions related to PPE. We are here to provide guidance on the different types of PPE, understanding proper use and helping to protect your skin from prolonged PPE use.

  • From disposable and reusable respirators to powered air-purifying respirators, explore the range of respiratory protection options that are available for use in healthcare environments.

  • Fit testing is a critical part of your respiratory protection program. Learn more about fit testing and resources available to help protect your team.

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