N95 grade medical protective masks are a component of the personal protective equipment and act as a safety device, which covers the mouth and nose of the wearer and helps the wearer to protect themselves from breathing hazardous substances. The N95 grade medical protective masks are useful in protecting the user from very small particles and are designed in a manner that they filter at least 95% of mold and dust from the air. The N95 respirators are regulated by bodies such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
The global N95 grade medical protective masks market is estimated to account for around US$ 798.8 million in terms of value in 2019 and it predicted to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period (2020-2027).
According to the World Economic Forum in March 2020, there are over 81,000 confirmed cases of corona virus infection (COVID-19), which has emerged in more than 24 countries with more than 2,700 deaths across the world. There is a rapid increase in demand for N95 protective masks from the patients suffering from severe infectious disease such as corona virus. The rising need for protective masks for patient and healthcare individuals due to outbreak of corona virus, which originated from China, has substantially increased demand for N95 grade medical protective masks in the global market.
The market is expected to witness significant growth opportunities, as governments of various countries are focused on decontaminating the used masks and making them reusable. For instance, in March 2020, the Food and Drug Administration approved the Battell’s process, which helps in decontaminating the masks. The battell’s process is a highly specialized process used for cleaning the much needed N95 grade medical protective masks, thereby allowing them to be reused. The Columbus Ohio-based battelle has used a ‘vapor-phase hydrogen peroxide’ technique, which decontaminates the masks used by healthcare professionals for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Among type, the mask with exhalation valve segment held dominant position in the global N95 grade medical protective masks market in 2019. The exhalation valves bypass the filter media and are useful in reducing the efforts required to exhale. These masks also increase the wearer’s comfort by ensuring that there is less heat and moisture buildup inside the respirator. The N95 masks with exhalation valves are best suited for individuals working in situations involving humidity, heat, and long period of wear.
The market in North America region is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. This is attributed to increasing production activities, which are being undertaken by major market players in the region for fulfilling the market demand. For instance, factories of companies such as 3M, which are located in Nebraska and South Dakota, are producing 35 million N95 masks a month and 90% of them are dedicated to healthcare workers. Also, companies such as Honeywell has taken US$ 5 billion term loan to increase the N95 mask production.
The market is experiencing growth, owing to increasing awareness about use of N95 mask as a protective measure against COVID-19. Major players across the globe are working in collaboration with governments and contributing in preventing the spread of this outbreak. For instance, in March 2020, Honeywell announced that it will expand its manufacturing capabilities in Phoenix for producing N95 face masks and supporting the U.S. governments in responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). With this capacity expansion, the company will be able to produce over 20 million N95 disposable masks, monthly.
Key players operating in the global N95 grade medical protective masks market include The 3M Company, Honeywell International Inc., Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., Kowa Company Ltd., Shanghai Dasheng, Vogmask, Hakugen Co. Ltd, Sinotextiles Corporation Limited, and The Gerson Company.
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