DuPont Steps Up Efforts to Meet Demand for Protective Tyvek Garments to Help Control Spread of SARS

WILMINGTON, Del. -- To help frontline healthcare responders slow the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), DuPont today announced it has stepped up supply efforts for DuPont Tyvek protective disposable garments in mainland China and Hong Kong. In addition, DuPont has provided a financial contribution to assist in the battle against SARS in those locations.

In an effort to slow the spread of SARS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have recommended detailed infection control methods, including the use of appropriate disposable protective garments and breathing equipment. DuPont is a leading global supplier of protective Tyvek disposable garments and fabrics.

Because of the SARS outbreak, China's government has requested 1 million protective Tyvek disposable garments for healthcare workers and other professionals. DuPont is working with partners around the world to provide the protective Tyvek garments to mainland China, Hong Kong and other locations as the need arises.

"DuPont is air freighting shipments of Tyvek products from around the world to the Asia Pacific region to meet initial demand," said DuPont Personal Protection Director of Sales and Operations Terry Stuchlik. "Additionally, we will utilize local and global production facilities to maximize product availability on an ongoing basis."

The structure of Tyvek flash-spun non-woven fabric provides a strong barrier against a range of microscopic substances -- including fine dusts, particles and fibers, as well as non-hazardous water-based liquids at low applied pressure. Tyvek is also extremely strong and tear-resistant.

The use of protective apparel in the CDC and WHO infection control procedures is to reduce the likelihood of skin contact with infectious materials, reduce transmission of the pathogens from patients to healthy individuals, and to permit health care workers to readily dispose of materials worn in the presence of known or suspected SARS patients. Disposal of garments may help contain the presence of infectious substances to designated areas within health care facilities, according to health care officials.

Long regarded as the leading expert in protective fabrics, DuPont provides products that are the industry leaders in the protective apparel and healthcare industries with its Sontara and Softesse medical fabrics and Tyvek disposable garments.

"It is important to note that protective garments are only part of a total system of precautions recommended by the CDC and WHO to address SARS," said DuPont personal protection researcher Jim Zeigler. "We hope the precautions and procedures recommended by these organizations help deter the spread of this disease as world health leaders search for more permanent solutions."

Source: DuPont