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3M Slams Into High Gear on Respirator Production

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3M  (MMM)  has hit its own ludicrous-mode button in an effort to crank out as many respirators, masks and other desperately needed supplies to the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Saint Paul, Minn.-based company said it is now producing the equivalent of 35 million respirators a month, with more than 500,000 of its bug-looking respirators on the way to New York and Seattle, respectively - the country's two hardest-hit hot zones - with arrivals expected to begin in each of those areas on Tuesday.

In a statement, 3M CEO Mike Roman said the company has ramped up to “maximum production levels of N95 respirators, and doubled our global output to a rate of more than 1.1 billion per year, or nearly 100 million per month.”

An N95 respirator, which looks more like a gas mask that straps over one's head, helps filter virus aerosol particles. 3M also produces face masks which offer different though lower levels of protection.

“Like everyone, I see the pleas from our heroic doctors, nurses and first responders for the respirators and other equipment they desperately need,” Roman said. “I want people to know we are doing all we can to meet the demands of this extraordinary time and get supplies from our plants to where they’re most needed as quickly as possible.” 

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