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Statement on the use of Swirl® filter products to make face masks

According to the Robert Koch Institute, the most effective measures to protect against infection with SARS-CoV-2 are good hand hygiene, adherence to rules regarding coughing and sneezing, keeping a safe distance from others (at least 1.5 metres) and self-isolation in the event of illness.

The current understanding is that wearing a face mask in public places can also help to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in the population if the above-mentioned precautions are followed. Textile barriers can intercept infectious droplets emitted when speaking, coughing or sneezing and thus reduce the risk of infecting other people.

Further information from the Robert-Koch-Institut on face masks:

Swirl® filter products have been developed for use in vacuum cleaners. The materials and components used have only been produced for this purpose and not for use in face masks.

If Swirl® vacuum cleaner bags, Swirl® Airfilter Universal and Swirl® Motorfilter Universal are used as masks, we cannot provide any information on possible health effects, as we do not have any research results on this.

Use of zinc pyrithione and activated carbon

Vacuum cleaner bags from different manufacturers are designed differently. Inside Swirl® MicroPor® Plus vacuum cleaner bags with AntiBac System, the antibacterial agent zinc pyrithione is used in small quantities. This is an ingredient which is also used in anti-dandruff shampoos, for example. In Swirl® vacuum cleaner bags with AntiBac System, it is firmly embedded in a layer of non-woven material so that it is not harmful to health when used as a vacuum cleaner bag. The product is not intended for other uses.

Swirl® MicroPor® Plus NeutralizAir® vacuum cleaner bags for pet households contain an activated carbon pad to neutralise odours. This active ingredient is also not harmful to health when used as intended.

We do not use polymers or polymer powders that are harmful to health in our vacuum cleaner bags.

Melitta has begun production of millions of face masks

Professional face masks are generally preferable. For this reason, the Melitta Group has converted parts of its production in order to contribute to the supply of urgently needed face masks. The masks are shaped like our coffee filters but consist of a three-layer non-woven fabric. The first million masks will be donated to healthcare institutions. After that, further medical facilities will be supplied. We are also planning to gradually increase our production capacities. To do so, however, we are dependent on the production of the non-woven material. For this reason, the face masks are currently not being sold to end consumers.

Further information can be found here.

Last updated: 24.04.2020