NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     August 2020

High Efficiency Mask Market and Proactive Program for Suppliers

Evidence is growing that highly efficient rather than cloth masks will be needed to vanquish COVID.  A proactive program by mask and media suppliers would greatly reduce COVID and  generate very large revenues for suppliers of media and masks.


McIlvaine is providing enough information in the daily alerts and analysis that it is possible to determine the justifiable investment in a specific type of mask in a specific location and activity and determine the risk reduction. Many influencers and purchasers do not differentiate between masks and are therefore not investing in the right products to reduce their risk to levels they believe acceptable.

As a result the market for efficient masks is much smaller than it will be when buyers and influencers are presented  with reliable cost/benefit information. There is the opportunity for the suppliers to greatly increase sales by joining in a program to

  • Ascertain reliable cost/benefit information for every application in every country for each type of individual
  • Communicate that information to the influencers and decision makers with webinars, magazine articles, and white papers
  • Receive market forecasts for the thousands of individual opportunities with an understanding of competitive advantages and disadvantages

A  preliminary cost-benefit analysis for COVID PPE  was  prepared and discussed in one of our early webinars.

This shows that the cost of treatment for those hospitalized with COVID can exceed $1 million if ventilators are needed. But this is a minor cost compared to the associated costs such as those who are sick but not hospitalized.  It does not take into account the pain and suffering of family members and the loss of productivity in the economy.

On the other hand wearing an efficient mask is uncomfortable compared to no mask or to a cloth mask. Breathability is a challenge with a tight fitting efficient mask.   It is hard to communicate when the faces of speakers are not visible. It is not possible to drink or eat when wearing a mask. High efficiency masks cost more than cloth masks.

Cost/Benefits of Efficient Masks


The cost/benefits of efficient masks vs other technologies need to be evaluated.  With a highly efficient mask social distancing can be reduced. So the two have to be compared.

Cost/benefits of Alternative Technologies Compared to a Specific Mask Design


The costs and benefits involve assessment of life quality. Some years ago a major supplier of surgical gowns contracted with Mcilvaine to determine the costs/ benefits of single use vs reusable surgical gowns. There was no good metric to measure the harm and good of each alternative. Therefore a new metric based on quality enhanced life days was created. This metric will be very valuable in comparing the costs/benefits of  efficient masks to vanquish COVID. The concept was covered by a hospital magazine and is displayed at

Quality Enhanced Life Days ~ A New Metric for Hospital ...  

People do not live their lives to maximize the length. They live to enjoy quality time even at the expense of longevity.  Individuals who donate kidneys or fall on grenades to save comrades are proud and extreme examples of decisions to choose quality over quantity. Every day we make many quality choices. In fact every minute we spend in an automobile statistically reduces our life by 20 seconds. So if we drive 2 hours for some form of entertainment, we are indicating that we would be willing to sacrifice 40 seconds of life for that enhancement. Sustainability therefore should be about assuring future opportunities for life quality as well as quantity .Success is best measured by a  metric called Quality Enhanced Life Days (QELD).

The costs and benefits are affected by the following parameters


Evaluations are made of respirators as an alternative to masks. It is interesting that a hospital chain has selected the MSA respirator for its personnel. There is also an  evaluation of valved masks as an alternative for those who have respiratory problems.

The forecasts assume a flexible approach similar to that in China where mask wearing is tied to the daily air pollution index. The use of masks to battle COVID will show higher benefits related to costs when the case rate in an area is high and rising.

It will depend upon the space. An N99 mask might be justified on the subway but an 95 mask in the office and an N70 mask in the park at lunch. (Masks not in use can be stored in a case the size of a large purse with UV disinfection).

Continually updated forecasts will be provided for 80 countries and sub regions x 8 years x 4 mask types x  both media and finished filters x 4 efficiencies x 10 applications = 204,800 forecasts.

 Mask Forecast by Type ($ Millions)


 Mask Forecast by Scope ($ Millions)


Mask Forecast by Country ($ Millions)


The logical segmentation of mask type is by efficiency and not whether it has to be manufactured in a sterile environment or which government agency has a standard. It is likely that standards will change when the aerosol generation factor is included.

Mask Forecast by efficiency  ($ Millions)


There is a big difference between loose fitting masks and tight-fitting respirators.  One is not designed to protect the individual while the other is. Both types can use meltblowns and efficient media. There needs to be further definition of masks/respirators for personal protection in normal daily activities.  In general an N70 respirator rather than a loose fitting mask should be the default choice       

Mask Forecast by Design ($ Millions)


 All masks by definition are for individuals.  An individual should not wear the same efficiency mask for all occasions. Therefore the market should be analyzed in terms of applications.

(Mask Forecast by Applications $ Millions)


There is continuous assessment of mask alternatives in the Alerts. We are also reporting on the many meltblown products which rely on meltblown polypropylene sandwiched between two spun bond layers. Generally there is an extra charging step. This product is in short supply. Here are some newer options. Details are shown in the Alerts.  The products are listed chronologically with the most recent articles first. They can also be accessed by any keyword.


For more information on the High Efficiency Mask Market and Proactive Program for Suppliers contact Bob McIlvaine at 847 226 2391 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.