Safe Life has been increasing production of A400 series respirator to help healthcare providers and government agencies address the global shortage of N95 respirators during the H1N1 pandemic.

The company has increased manufacturing capacity in response to a rapid rise in demand and is capable of producing more than 100 million N95 respirators in 2010 at its manufacturing facilities in Williston and Ipoh, Malaysia.

The company said that the worldwide shortage of N95 respirators continues to grow as healthcare providers struggle to maintain adequate supply levels in order to protect workers in high-risk settings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of fit-tested, N95 respirators for healthcare personnel who are in close contact with patients with suspected or confirmed 2009 H1N1. For a 120 day pandemic, the CDC estimates that 6.2 billion N95 respirators will be needed in the US alone. The current national stockpile is approximately 26 million units, and many of the nation’s largest suppliers are on back order well into 2010, said the company.

The company has introduced the A400 series N95 respirator with antimicrobial protection to provide healthcare workers and other occupational users with an N95 respirator that can be comfortably worn for an entire shift. The company is taking aggressive steps to increase its overall manufacturing capacity and production capabilities, according to Sicotte.

Benoit Sicotte, general manager of Safe Life manufacturing facility in Williston, said: “Our top priority right now is to expand our production capacity so that Safe Life can better meet the growing demand for N95 respirators, both in the US and around the world. To accomplish this, we’ve designed special high-tech machinery that enables us to rapidly manufacture our line of comfortable, breathable N95 respirators.”

Richard Jaffe, chairman and CEO of Safe Life, said: “The H1N1 pandemic has underscored just how dangerous the worldwide shortage of N95 respirators has become. Restocking the global supply of N95 respirators is a critical step in the fight against H1N1, especially since a third wave of the pandemic is expected to hit before the end of the winter.”