K Group, Ahlstrom-Munksjö and Filterpak to launch the production of civilian face masks in Finland – first batch of masks available in K Group stores in early June

Gradual reopening of the Finnish society requires active measures to ensure people’s safety. K Group, Ahlstrom-Munksjö and Filterpak are launching the production of so-called civilian face masks in Finland. The first batch of the masks should be ready at the end of May and available for consumers at K Group stores in early June.

The sufficient availability of varying levels of protective equipment is one of the things needed for the society to reopen. Better availability and wider use of face masks is also one key prerequisite for reopening the society cited by the Exit Group of the Confederation of Finnish Industries. This collaboration between three Finnish companies will increase the supply of protective gear designed for non-healthcare professionals.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö will be responsible for the production of the fibre-based mask materials and Filterpak for the assembly of the masks. K Group has ordered the masks and will take care of logistics and distribution.

The first batch of 600,000 masks should be ready at the end of May, after which the masks will be available to consumers at K Group stores. Going forward, production can be ramped up to some 1,500,000 masks per month. If customer demand for masks increases further, K Group will explore other possibilities to respond to the demand.

The filtration efficiency of the masks is 88%* according to the measurement made by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, which is substantially higher than the roughly 20-40% efficiency of cotton cloth masks. The filtration efficiency is also clearly higher than the national standard for masks aimed at civilian use in France, for example. Moreover, the mechanical filtration increases the durability of the masks and enables longer-term use.

* Full VTT report available here (in Finnish)

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