General Motors (NYSE:GM) announced today that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has provided an N95-level certification for the respirators the automaker is churning out of its Warren, Mich. plant.
NIOSH, which is part of the CDC, created the new certification process in order to increase the supply of filtering facepiece respirators needed to protect healthcare workers and others amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to GM.
A respirator, according to GM, gets a 95 rating when it filters out at least 95% of airborne particles during “worst-case” testing using a “most-penetrating” sized particle.
To achieve a tight seal around a user’s face required an entirely new manufacturing process — with GM repurposing sonic welders from its Brownstown Battery Assembly plant to expedite the process.
As with face masks, GM will donate some of the N95 respirators to frontline workers. So far, the Warren facility has delivered more than 4 million face masks and 230,000 face shields to frontline workers.