Descriptions of critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) types in demand in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Medical-use PPE Needed

The Commonwealth is in need of five types of medical-use PPE to support healthcare workers, first responders, and public works. Following is a list of those five types,1 in order of high to low general level of FDA regulation, with the quantity the Commonwealth is procuring in the next tranche (subset of total planned procurement).

N95 respiratorN95 respirators: A disposable half-face-piece intended to help reduce wearer to exposure to airborne biological pathogens

  • 5,000,000 units

Isolation maskPatient/Isolation masks:2 A loose-fitting, disposable device that provides a physical barrier to particulate materials

  • 5,000,000 units

Exam glovesExam gloves: A hand covering intended for medical use to prevent contamination

  • Vinyl exam gloves: 5,000,000 units
  • Nitrile gloves: 4,000,000 units
  • Latex gloves: 4,000,000 units

Non-surgical GownsGowns, non-surgical: A disposable or reusable product intended to protect the user from the transfer of materials in the wearer’s environment

  • Isolation gowns: 5,000,000 units
  • Hair caps: 5,000,000 units
  • Boot covers: 2,000,000 units
  • Medical coveralls: 900,000 units

Eye protectionEye protection: A device used to protect the user's eyes and / or face from bodily fluids, liquid splashes, or infectious materials

  • Medical goggles: 1,000,000 units
  • Face shields: 1,000,000 units

Non-medical PPE Needed

Demand for non-medical use PPE is also increasing as the economy reopens. Following is a list of types.

  • Filtering facepiece respiratorFiltering facepiece respirators: A filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) offering protection from particulate materials3
  • Face maskFace masks: A mask that covers the user’s nose and mouth and may or may not meet fluid barrier or filtration efficiency levels3
  • Exam glovesGloves: A hand covering for the hand for protection against dirt (e.g., nitrile industrial grade gloves)

PPE intended for non-medical use is not regulated by the FDA—meaning manufacturers can start producing immediately

Indicators of Increased Demand

  • Global respirator consumption has increased 1,900% since 2019 – from 5B to 100B
  • The US PPE market size is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2%—reaching ~$18B by 20264
  • US states are increasingly requiring residents to cover their faces when in public during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Potential that face covers will be required for foreseeable future based on current expert opinions and press search

Raw Materials Needed

The decision to produce medical- or non-medical-use PPE has different implications for manufacturers. Following is a list of types of PPE, with the raw materials needed.

FDA Regulated (Medical Use)

  • N95 respirators: Spun bonded polypropylene
  • Isolation/patient masks: Polypropylene
  • Exam gloves: Nitrile, natural rubber, polychloroprene
  • Gowns, non-surgical: Nonwovens (Spunlace, SMS, wet laid)
  • Eye protection: Polycarbonate, PETG, PVC

Not FDA Regulated (Non-medical Use)

  • Filtering facepiece respirators: Various
  • Face masks: Various
  • Gloves: Nitrile, natural rubber, latex

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1. Sourced from FDA Enforcement Policies for PPE during COVID-19 (April 2020): Face masks and respirators; Gowns, other apparel, and gloves

2. Here forward considered Face masks intended for a Medical Purpose that are NOT intended to provide liquid barrier protection

3. FDA Enforcement Policies for PPE during COVID-19 (April 2020): Face masks and respirators; Gowns, other apparel, and gloves

4. Grand View Research; Statista estimates; ID 895706; Daedal Research estimates a slightly larger market at ~$15bn