Lakeland Industries, Inc. a manufacturer of industrial protective clothing for industry, municipalities, healthcare and to first responders on the federal, state and local levels, announced the global availability of its protective apparel for use in handling the Ebola virus.
In response to the increasing demand for specialty protective suits to be worm by healthcare workers and others being exposed to Ebola, Lakeland is increasing its manufacturing capacity for these garments and includes proprietary processes for specialized seam sealing, a far superior technology for protecting against viral hazards than non-sealed products.
“Lakeland stands ready to join the fight against the spread of Ebola,” said Christopher J. Ryan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lakeland Industries. “We understand the difficulty of getting appropriate products through a procurement system that in times of crisis favors availability over specification, and we hope our added capacity will help alleviate that problem. With the U.S. State Department alone putting out a bid for 160,000 suits, we encourage all protective apparel companies to increase their manufacturing capacity for sealed seam garments so that our industry can do its part in addressing this threat to global health.”
Mr. Ryan continued, “With our diverse global operations and the breadth of our protective apparel line incorporating superior sealed seam technology, we are ideally situated to assist organizations worldwide as they handle Ebola. Despite reports citing the short supply of protective suits for handling hazardous materials, we believe it is very important to alert those in need around the world that Lakeland has appropriately qualified and certified suits, ample manufacturing capacity, and numerous distribution points to supply these garments.”
Last Friday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon laid out plans to set up an Ebola crisis center, with a mission to halt the spread of the virus in West African countries in six to nine months. He is counting on public and private funding from around the world of some $600 million needed for supplies in West Africa.
Nearly 2,300 people have died and 4,300 confirmed or probable cases of Ebola have been reported since March. Mr. Ban said in a statement, “The number of cases is rising exponentially. The disease is spreading far faster than the response. People are increasingly frustrated that it is not being controlled.”
Within the past several weeks, Lakeland has provided suits that are being used by Doctors Without Borders in West Africa. Lakeland’s global team worked with leaders from Doctors Without Borders to ensure that the technical data and performance specifications for Lakeland’s garments exceeded the necessary protective requirements.
Two days ago, an NBC affiliate reported that PCI Global, a non-profit group with offices in Washington, DC, sent a quantity of hazmat suits to Liberia for use in the treatment of patients with Ebola. “These suits are essential to saving lives,” said PCI Vice President Richard Parker in the report. “There’s a very short supply around the world. We were able to procure these 276 suits through a medical supply company in California, so we bought them up as soon as we could.” The suits that were procured and shipped were sealed seam garments manufactured by Lakeland Industries.
Lakeland’s ChemMAX 1 garments are being used in the fight against the Ebola virus based on their certification to EN 14126, the European standard for protective clothing for use against infective agents, and ASTM F1671 certification for protection from blood-borne pathogens along with its availability in sealed seam configurations. Lakeland has the same certifications for other protective garments, including MicroMAX NS and the remaining ChemMAX product line.