By Bill Hudson

Maplewood, Minn. (WCCO) — One of the many test labs on 3M’s sprawling campus is known as building 235.

“We are in in 3M’s global fit test laboratory,” Dr. Nicole McCollough explained.

It’s where you’ll find a crucial tool in the battle to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“The N95 respirators which are tested by the government, are effective against particles of all sizes, the very small and the very large ones,” McCollough said.

McCollough is the company’s point person for health professionals and government leaders around the globe. She says the company’s respirators are in high demand.

That’s largely because they are proven effective against sub-micron sized virus particles if worn correctly.

“You don’t want any gaps around your face and the respirator. If you do the air can go around and bring the particles with it,” McCollough said.

But keeping up with the incredible demand for the respirators is the company’s biggest challenge. So with that demand outstripping respirator supplies, 3M factories are adding shifts and workers to expand production around the clock.

“Right now we expect that demand will actually outpace supplies for the near future,” McCollough said.

Simply because there is no predicting how widespread the outbreak will grow.

But preventing worldwide pandemic could well rest with this tight fitting filter that is covering so many faces.

Bill Hudson

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