GM Gets The Green Light To Make N95 Face Mask In Michigan
Now let's be clear. General Motors has been hard at work making face masks, face shields, and ventilators for a while now.
GM has donated more than 4 million flat face masks to frontline workers and 230,000 face shields, also made at the Warren facility, since early April. GM has also been building life-saving ventilators at its plant in Kokomo, Indiana, for Ventec Life Systems and is on-track to fulfill its contract to build 30,000 ventilators by the end of August. (USA Today)
They just now got approval to make the N95 version of the face mask. And they had to get that from a department within the CDC.
First, let's take a look at the differences in the masks themselves and how/what they protect you from.
The GM plant in Warren did a pretty amazing job of converting and churning out the flat face masks. But why did it take so long (not really according to the article from USA Today) to make the N95 version.
The N95 masks are actually filtering face-piece respirators that require a complex four-step process to make and require approval by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (USA Today)
The N95 mask will take more time as it requires the above mentioned 4 step process where as the flat surgical mask only requires one. And at present they are churning out about 3 MILLION flat masks a month. When they start the N95 version, there will be significantly fewer. At least to start.
Made right here in the good ole USA by GM in Warren, Michigan.