MIDLAND–For healthcare professionals battling the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation gowns are among the most used and needed personal protective equipment. In response to this critical need, Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) collaborated with nine partners across industries to develop and donate 100,000 isolation gowns to help frontline workers in Texas, Louisiana and Mexico.
“The Dow team is proud to continue developing PPE to help our frontline workers, but this effort would not have been possible without our partner companies, each of whom readily stepped up to make this project a reality,” said Michelle Boven, global marketing director for Health & Hygiene at Dow. “It’s also a testament to how quickly companies can innovate when a diverse team from different organizations across industries come together to achieve a common objective.”
The end-product, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Level 2 gowns, required design, testing, package development and a supply chain. In this case, each collaborator brought their unique expertise to the table, all donating valuable time and resources to the project.
The gown is made with polyethylene nonwoven coated with a layer of polyethylene film made with resin donated by Dow.
The Brazil-based nonwoven fabrics company Fitesa manufactured the nonwoven material that provides tear resistance and soft touch. The company has U.S. locations in South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Troy-based Cadillac Products Packaging Co. provided extrusion coating of the film, making it durable enough for AAMI Level 2 performance.
Minnesota-based 3M and Hickory, N.C.-based Shurtape Technologies LLC donated the tape to provide barrier performance on the gown sewn seams.
The Canadian mobility technology company Magna International, Inc., identified through Dow’s relationship with Volkswagen, provided resources to cut and sew the gowns.
Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont provided isolation gown design expertise.
Burton-based Landaal Packaging Systems donated boxes to ship the gowns.
The Canadian firm Plastixx FFS Technologies donated the bags for each gown to be packaged in for distribution.
The 100,000 AAMI Level 2 gowns will be distributed equally to government agencies in Mexico and in the states of Louisiana and Texas.
“Our teams are problem solvers by nature and their passion around helping during these unprecedented times has been nothing short of inspiring,” said Frank Eupizi, director of engineering, Magna International. “It’s been an honor to witness the same passion at Dow and to collaborate with them to provide medical gowns for healthcare professionals using the skills and expertise normally applied to producing automotive seat covers. We are grateful for the opportunity to make a difference together.”
Thje gowns conform with ASTM and ANSI standards and are labeled in compliance with FDA guidance on non-surgical apparel.
These isolation gowns are the latest action Dow has undertaken to help address the COVID-19 global pandemic crisis:
On May 14, Dow, Whirlpool Corp. and Reynolds Consumer Products announced the development of a powered, air-purifying respirator, or PAPR, which takes the place of a traditional medical face mask and faces shield.
On April 17, Dow announced the open source design for a simplified face shield and the donation of 100,000 face shields to hospitals in Michigan.
On April 9, Dow announced an additional $500,000 donation to the Great Lakes Bay Region in Michigan to aid COVID-19 relief efforts in Dow’s global headquarters community.
On March 30, Dow announced that sites across North America, Europe and Latin America were set to produce more than 200 metric tons of hand sanitizer, equivalent to more than 880,000 eight-ounce bottles, to be donated to local health systems and government agencies.
On March 23, Dow committed $3 million to aid COVID-19 relief efforts, with donations going towards global relief organizations, as well as non-profits in communities where Dow operates.
More at www.dow.com.