Addendum 4/1: there’s even less reason now to make homemade masks as the to be used in non-hospital settings…
To those of you desperate to find N95 masks and any PPE, I offer a glimmer of hope below. I truly hope people switch their sewing energies to getting supplies from people who have them — like directly from China, right now. I am truly serious that you could have thousands of units of PPE delivered by FedEx within a couple of days, and your PPE shortage could be over.
I lived in China for ten years before moving back to the USA four years ago; my wife is a Chinese-born American with a Harvard MBA with many contacts with people who own companies in China, including her own brother. Over the last two weeks we’ve had enormous support from many of her friends in China, and many have already donated thousands of units of PPE. It’s been wonderful to see people helping like this!
More importantly, we have credible leads for companies who have all PPE in stock, right now, and want to help. So here’s the list, I will update as needed. Please share! Some of these companies are huge, please tell your hospital and clinic purchasing people about these!
Source #1: PPE Reseller via Logistics Company
My wife’s brother Tom Wang runs a very large and successful logistics company called , and while they don’t usually do PPE, they are like many Chinese companies right now, rising to the occasion and sourcing PPE to distribute to the world. They don’t carry N95 masks at the moment but do have KN95, which is exactly the same protection as N95 and is . See the PDF here (GPA_Global_Protective_Gear) of what they offer, a screenshot is below the contact information. Jesse Dixon is the main contact.
Jesse Andrew Dixon
Director of Strategic Sales – GPA Packaging
9655 De Soto Ave, Chatsworth, CA 91311 USA
Source #2: factory direct NIOSH approved N95 masks
My wife’s second contact is James Liu, another colleague from Harvard Business School. James is CEO of a large company called SDL Asia HK Ltd, and one of their businesses is making PPE and N95 masks. During COVID-19 they have been making official masks for Hong Kong, so you know that means it’s legit. Their USA brand is called Sperian, under the company WTL Atlanta Fund LLC, and they make NIOSH-approved masks,and scroll down to see Sperian.
Sperian Respiratory Protection, LLC
Source #3: PPE except N95
Joe Wang is another HBS contact from my wife, another logistics operator, and he has access to most PPE except the N95 masks. He’s another angel from China, already is donating 5,000 surgical masks, 200 face shields, and 150 gowns. He says, “price for the surgical mask is $0.62/pc including FedEx charges. 20 pieces per pack. I can send around 10,000 pieces per day”. Products have European Union CE certificates, of the products. I don’t think they are officially FDA approved for the USA and big hospitals may not like that, but again right now in a state of emergency, with calls for homemade masks, I sure as heck recommend anyone try to get this stuff. A face shield is a face shield, right? Here’s his info:
Tianjin Jinmeida International Co., Ltd.
B2-4-201, Haitai Innovation Base
No. 16 the 5th Haitai Development Road
Huayuan Industrial Zone, Tianjin 300384, China
Tel.: 86 22 87938299
Fax: 86 22 87938298
Source #4: Aliexpress
The much easier option for most of us small volume buyers is to buy directly from China, and the best site is a website called . This is basically a gigantic business-to-consumer (B2C) website which harnesses the incredibly huge Alibaba company, mostly a platform for Chinese factories to sell products worldwide. If you want masks right now, delivered in 2 days, this is the way to go. One big issue is fake goods, of course I cannot guarantee any links are not fake. But I am almost 100% sure that any mask still would be far better than any homemade cotton mask! It’s up to you, I am just putting this out there for people to discuss and decide. Usually a reputable mask company will have photos of their certifications, that helps a lot.
And don’t be afraid if the mask on Aliexpress is rated KN95 or FFP2, those are Chinese and European specs which are exactly the same certification and efficiency as N95. Don’t forget that China makes masks for the world, and only the USA uses N95 as a term!
Here are a couple of links to get you started:
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