Face masks remain a key component of ending the pandemic, even as vaccinations increase. Here are a few notes on recent updates from mask suppliers or demand trends:
- The amount of waste being generated by the large amounts of disposable personal protective equipment continues to be a problem. Nexe Innovations is one company seeking a solution. The company is developing a mask that is fully industrially compostable and expects to have a functional prototype available this year.
- Backing off an initial plan to do a mass distribution of face masks throughout the country, the Biden administration has settled on a more targeted approach, providing 25 million masks to underserved populations via distributions at more than 1,300 community health centers and 60,000 food pantries and soup kitchens. Under this plan, the administration will send reusable, well-fitted cloth masks in adult and child sizes.
- The first set of standards for nonmedical single-use and reusable face masks have been released. The new standard from ASTM International is ASTM F3502, and compliant masks will feature a label that they meet those standards. Compliant masks must meet specified design criteria (e.g., nonirritating materials, no vents or valves, snug fit, minimize air flow at perimeter, comfortable for long wear), performance criteria (e.g., ability to filter particles as small as 0.3 microns, durability over time if it is reusable), test methods, labelling, and user information (how to wear it properly and how to clean it if it is reusable).
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, including Global Disposable Masks & Respirators, Global Industrial & Institutional Cleaning Chemicals, Global Industrial & Institutional Disinfectants & Sanitizers, Surface Disinfectant Wipes, and Global Disposable Medical Gloves. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.