SARS increases demand for Alpha Pro Tech masks

MAY 13–NOGALES, Ariz.–Alpha Pro Tech, a developer, manufacturer and marketer of disposable protective apparel for the medical, dental, industrial safety, cleanroom and food service markets, has seen a $2 million increase in orders for its N-95 respirator mask and eye shields.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended an N-95 respirator mask to be used together with an eye shield to protect healthcare workers in the fight against the spread of the SARS virus.

According to a company statement, orders received primarily for Asia, for the N-95 respirator mask, continue to be strong and the company has recently experienced an increase in demand for eye shields.

“We have received an increase of approximately $2.0 million in orders in addition to our normal volume for these products,” the company indicates. “Orders have strengthened in the past two-weeks. Since March 28th, we have booked approximately $3.5 million dollars in SARS related orders.”

Alpha Pro Tech is manufacturing the N-95 masks 24 hours per business day. Other US manufacturers of the N-95 have also experienced higher demand than production capabilities, causing delays for customers from around the world. Alpha Pro Tech is currently manufacturing approximately 10 times more N-95 masks than it did before the SARS outbreak.

In addition, new production lines are expected to be operational by July 1st, which should double current N-95 production capacity. The capacity for manufacturing eye shields has also been increased to meet current demands.

“At this time, there is no way to predict how long the increased demand for N-95 masks and eye shields will continue, but we believe it will continue through the third quarter of 2003 at a minimum,” says Al Millar, president of Alpha Pro Tech. “However, with heightened awareness about infection control and Alpha Pro Tech’s product line, we believe that our N-95 mask and eye shield will continue to be in higher demand than ever before.”


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