1. Coronavirus
3M n95 on a product line

Helping the world respond to COVID-19

3M is playing a critical role

During this global crisis, demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to far exceed supply for the entire industry. We continue working with governments, health agencies, distributors and others to prioritize supplies to the most critical customer and public health needs.

We are grateful for the work 3Mers are doing to support the public health response and are taking actions to help protect and support them, including offering remote work when possible and providing robust safety protocols in our facilities. The safety of our employees and the public, including health care workers and first responders fighting COVID-19, is our highest priority.

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Unprecedented demand for PPE

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    U.S. and global demand for PPE continues to far exceed supply for the entire industry. Due to ongoing protocol changes and facility use requirements, some facilities are needing more than 40X from prior years.?

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    3M is focused on supplying PPE to healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers, as well as providing limited support to industrial customers.

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    To help reserve critical supplies of surgical masks and N95 respirators for healthcare workers and other critical first responders, the U.S. CDC recommends the general public wear face coverings in public settings, in addition to physical distancing.

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Supporting the response to the pandemic

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    Plants running 24/7 making more respirators than ever before.

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    3M manufactured 2 billion respirators globally in 2020 – tripling production since 2019.

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    Producing over 95 million respirators per month in the U.S. alone

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    Collaborating with companies to develop personal protective equipment and other tools being used in the fight against COVID-19.

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    Working with governments to break down trade barriers and direct respirators to serve areas of the world most in need.

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    Maximized production of other solutions used in response to COVID 19, including biopharma filtration, hand sanitizers and disinfectants.

  • Explore the steps we have taken to support the world's response to the COVID-19 pandemic

    December 2020

    • 3M and other industry leaders partnered with XPRIZE to hold the Next-Gen Mask Challenge which invited young inventors to develop next generation face masks to help slow COVID-19.
    • 3M supported the UN designation of Dec. 27 as International Day of Epidemic Preparedness.
    • 3M was recognized as “Supplier of the Year" by Supply Chain Dive for its leadership and supply chain risk management during the pandemic.
    • 3M’s production rate of N95 respirators exceeds 95 million per month in the U.S. Globally, 3M produced 2 billion respirators in 2020 – tripling production since 2019.

    November 2020

    October 2020

    • 3M expanded its region-specific resources to report and combat fraud around the world in order to help ensure a safe supply of needed personal protective equipment. Hotlines are now available around the world. 
    • 3M successfully completed the delivery of more than 228 million disposable respirators to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, in fulfillment of a rated order under the Defense Production Act.
    • 3M launched cloth, daily face masks for use by consumers for shopping, social gatherings or doing other activities where a face covering is recommended or required.

    September 2020

    • 3M provided an overview of the differences between face coverings & masks, medical masks and respirators as the school year started.
    • Science at Home,” a series that features 3M scientists and special guests who demonstrate core scientific principles in an easy to follow format, is extended to provide accessible STEM distance-learning resources to families and children.
    • 3M is working, as one of a group of corporate partners, with the XPRIZE Foundation on XPRIZE’s Next-Gen Mask Challenge, aimed at encouraging young innovators to reinvent the face coverings used to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 
    • 3M filed its 19th lawsuit as part of its global effort to fight COVID fraud, counterfeiting and price-gouging.

    August 2020

    • 3M shared ways it is adapting protective measures for employee safety as needed in our U.S. operations amidst the ongoing pandemic.
    • A 3M biopharmaceutical filtration technology that was developed over decades to capture microscopic particles and materials is now being used by pharmaceutical companies and researchers searching for vaccines and therapies to treat and protect against COVID-19.
    • A repurposed hydrophilic film from 3M becomes part of an anti-fog face shield for health care workers in a collaboration with Nissha Medical Technologies.
    • A long-term health care facility turned to 3M for supply chain help in securing much-needed cleaning and disinfecting products.
    • 3M Canada announced that with support from the Canadian Federal and Ontario governments it will begin to produce N95 respirators at 3M Canada’s plant in Brockville, Ontario.

    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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Supporting our communities

Since the outbreak, 3M has responded with cash and product donations – including respirators, surgical masks and hand sanitizer – through local and global humanitarian aid partners.

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    $10 million to Direct Relief's COVID-19 Fund for Community Health
    Helping provide community health centers with direct financial aid to support health care workers.
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    $5 million to United Way's COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund ?

    Supporting the agency providing food, shelter and rent assistance to vulnerable people globally.

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    $5 million for COVID-19 R&D initiatives
    Gifted to leading educational institutions, including the University of Minnesota (U.S.) and Seoul National University (South Korea).
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    Donated 6,000 powered air-purifying respirators?
    Collaboratively developed with Ford Motor Company, to Direct Relief for distribution to health care providers in need across the U.S.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of the most frequently asked question we have received during the COVID-19 pandemic, with answers and links to direct you to more information.

Helping you respond to the pandemic

  • Tips for knowing when and how to use masks and N95 respirators.

  • Products and information to help you reopen your workplace.

  • Information to support those on the front line of the pandemic.
  • Understanding U.S. respirator supply and guiding policy around COVID-19.

The latest news

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Partnering on innovative solutions

  • Identifying ways for hospitals to decontaminate, reuse and extend the life of N95 respirators

  • 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
  • MIT

    Collaborating with MIT to develop a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19

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Fighting Fraud and Counterfeit Activity

The latest on COVID-19

Consult the sources below for the most current information, guidelines and recommended precautions.