St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M donated more than 380,000 of its N95 respirators during the California wildfires in November.
While the deadliest fires in California’s history raged, air quality alerts were issued to huge portions of the state, affecting dozens of cities as well as those living in rural areas. The warnings recommended people stay indoors to avoid exposure to smoke and ash, or wear an N95 respirator to reduce exposure to toxic airborne particulates.
The company donated the respirators to its humanitarian aid partners, the American Red Cross and Direct Relief, which distributed to those who needed them.
3M is a leading provider of NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)-approved N95 respirators. Used properly, the N95s filter out 95 percent of the particulate from smoke and ash, says Nikki McCullough, global application engineering and regulatory affairs manager at 3M’s Personal Safety Division.
During the fires, 3M emergency response team members also met daily with American Red Cross and county officials to monitor need as well as to help in relief and recovery efforts. Along with providing support in the wake of natural disasters, 3M works with humanitarian aid partners to pre-stock warehouses with supplies commonly used during relief operations. To date, 3M has donated more than 500,000 respirators for various natural disasters in 2018 and provided more than $1.5 million in cash and product donations.
3M was one of the first companies to establish a disaster relief foundation, 3M Gives, in 1953. Since that time the company has contributed $1.45 billion in cash and in-kind gifts to community partners.