NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     April 2020

Pandemic Impact on the Filter and Mask Market

The world needs to address the pandemic with a solution which is safe but allows near normal functioning of business and society. McIlvaine believes that using the latest cleanroom and hospital mitigation technologies this Distancing and Sheltering Alternative can be safely cost effective. 

The extent to which it will be employed has major implications for the filter and mask markets. It could triple the media market and double the filter equipment sales.


The potential to change the mask market is even greater. In any case the market will be much larger. In addition meltblown media may be largely replaced with new washable and more efficient nanofiber membranes.  New mask designs built around a permanent washable structure with replaceable filtration media inserts could capture market share.


The distancing and sheltering  alternative involves the following technologies in combinations in which optimize the life quality costs. Each technology will be used to the extent that benefits outweigh the costs


Air Filters and Systems: Here are some factors which will determine whether the air filter market boost will be modest or very large

  • The ability of viruses to travel long distances including through HVAC systems
  • The ability of HEPA filters to capture the COVID-19 viruses
  • Percentage of world population who will contract the disease
  • The ability of the virus to reappear in areas previously impacted
  • Willingness of governments to support the investment in filtration systems to address the problem
  • Coordination in a proactive program which combines air filtration technology with personal protective equipment and operating practices
  • Acceptance of a common metric to measure the life quality impacts as well as economic costs of alternative strategies (McIlvaine has prepared analyses based on Quality Enhanced Life Days)
  • Education of governments, industries, and individuals relative to the science and impacts

Masks: The market for face masks will soar over the next few years. Suppliers need to continually seek answers to the following questions.

  • How big will the market be in the short term?
  • Will demand drop when a coronavirus vaccine is in wide use?
  • How much will people pay for a mask?
  • What will be the ratio of masks to protect wearers vs the public or both?
  • What will be the ratio of disposable vs reusable?
  • What materials are most compatible with various decontamination methods?
  • What will be the role of nanofibers and other materials to compete with spunbond, meltblown laminates?
  • What will be the market segmentation between do it yourself, medical masks, surgical masks, N95, N95 medical, elastomeric reusable, novel designs?

Geography: There are separate analyses which need to be applied to each country

  • Projected infection rate
  • Population
  • Mitigation Policies
  • Existing healthcare and business structure
  • GDP and ability to undertake an effective program

Associated Technologies: A number of associated technologies will shape the market. 

  • Masks can be decontaminated and reused
    • What are the economics of H2O2 vs alcohol, vs ozone, UV, heat etc.?
    • What is the existing equipment which can be used?
    • What is the cost of new equipment?
  • Rooms and HVAC systems can be treated with UV light

Competition: A number of competitive factors will shape the market for the individual suppliers

  • Regional demand fluctuation. The large surge of mask demand and production in China will have implications for the worldwide market
  • Innovative technology:
    • The use of membranes in filters and masks is likely to greatly influence the markets.
    • There are major developments in filter and mask designs

All of the factors which will shape the market are covered first in the Daily Coronavirus Market Alerts.  They are then analyzed.  The conclusions are then reflected in continuously updated forecasts

Details on Coronavirus Market Intelligence are found at

Bob McIlvaine can answer your questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  cell 847 226 2391