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The History of N95 Manufacturing @mfgday #MFGDay20

While many gardeners, DIYers, and medical professionals were familiar with N95 masks prior to the coronavirus pandemic, many of us had never heard of the mask. It runs out that the origin of the N95 is intimately entangled with the history of manufacturing in the United States, Here’s more from Fast Company:

Of course, it was hard to build standards around something that didn’t even exist yet—for medicine or workplace safety. By the 1970s, the Bureau of Mines and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health teamed up on creating the first criteria for what they called “single use respirators.” The first single-use N95 “dust” respirator as we know it was developed by 3M, and approved on May 25, 1972. (Turnbull herself consulted on this line into the 1980s—and for many other corporate clients including General Mills, Ford, Corning, and Revlon.) Instead of fiberglass, the company repurposed that technology it had developed for making stiffer gift ribbons into a proper filter. Under a microscope, “they look like somebody dropped a bunch of sticks—and they have huge spaces between them,” says McCullough.

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