Eastman highlights global COVID-19 response efforts
Posted April 22, 2020
KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Eastman team members around the world are using innovation and their collaborative spirit to help support frontline healthcare workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eastman, a producer of specialty materials normally found in a broad range of items people use every day, is providing materials to help make critical items needed for medical, health and hygiene products that are in short supply. So far, Eastman has made the following contributions:
10,000 face shields for hospitals in Massachusetts, thanks to a collaboration with SMC Ltd.;
Donated copolyester resins to PRP Creation as part of an effort by cosmetics companies to produce 475,000 bottles of hand sanitizer for health organizations in France;
Distributed window film to Harlow College to produce 300 additional face shields for hospital workers in the United Kingdom;
Collaborated with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and universities to help produce 10,000 face shields;
Donated copolyesters to companies in Brazil to manufacture 20,000 face shields for hospitals; and
Donated critical PPE including 180 N95 masks and 4,400 nitrile gloves to first responders in Massachusetts.
Also, Eastman has converted a pilot plant at its largest U.S. manufacturing site to produce hand sanitizer for area schools and emergency responders.
“Quick, creative collaborations within our communities are making an impact,” said Mark Costa, board chair and CEO. “I am so proud of our hardworking Eastman employees who are guided by our shared vision that our work today will help slow down the spread of the virus tomorrow. Their courage, determination and innovative spirit will help Eastman and our local communities to navigate through the current situation and contribute to the world’s needs.”
Eastman’s existing production capabilities help prevent the spread of the virus and aid in medical treatment for those who have the virus or other illnesses. Eastman products go into:
Packaging to prevent contamination of food, medicine, personal care and medical products;
Personal hygiene products, soaps and antiseptics;
Personal protective equipment used by medical personnel; and
Over the counter and prescription medications
Eastman materials also go into thousands of products the world continues to rely on, and the company also supports the infrastructure essential to delivering those products to consumers and to customers who count on Eastman’s commitment to provide superior service and support. Eastman makes essential intermediates for products that are critical to safe living, food supply, food security and cleaning.
PCT Polymers are being used in inhaler filters, Eastman Tritan copolyesters and Ecdel elastomers can be found in bioreactors and bioreactor bags used for vaccine development, Tritan and Tenite cellulosics are used for delivery of drugs through IV administration sets and burette chambers, and Eastman 168 non-phthalate plasticizer is critical in the production of IV bags and medical tubing. Because of its durability, medical products made with Tritan stand up to a wide range of medical disinfectants and the harsh cleaning protocols being used to prevent the spread of infection. Eastman products also appear in medical disposables such as swabs and test tubes, and in durable products like patient monitors and electronic thermometers.
During the pandemic, BenzoflexTM non-phthalate plasticizers, manufactured in Chestertown, Md., continue to be used in food packaging adhesives and labeling helping to maintain a safe food supply. Eastman tackifying resins, produced in Jefferson, Pa., are used in the manufacture of N95 masks. Those same resins also appear in high-demand cleaning solutions and disinfectants. Eastman also produces ethyl acetate, a key material in the packaging for COVID-19 testing equipment that will be going directly to hospitals.
Knowing Eastman materials are essential to the world keeps Jeff Mann motivated, he said. Mann is one of the thousands of Eastman team members who are keeping the company’s global plants running.
“I am proud of the work we are doing as a company. It helps me understand how my job and my team’s jobs are important to the world,” Mann said. “I get up every day knowing what I do is making a difference in our community.”