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Eastman outlines COVID-19 global response efforts

From staff reports • Apr 23, 2020 at 8:30 AM

KINGSPORT — Eastman announced Wednesday that team members around the world are using innovation and their collaborative spirit to help support front line health care workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eastman, a producer of specialty materials, is providing materials to help make critical items needed for medical, health and hygiene products that are in short supply. So far, Eastman has made the following contributions: 10,000 face shields for hospitals in Massachusetts, thanks to a collaboration with SMC Ltd.; donated copolyester resins to PRP Creation as part of an effort by cosmetics companies to produce 475,000 bottles of hand sanitizer for health organizations in France; distributed window film to Harlow College to produce 300 additional face shields for hospital workers in the United Kingdom; collaborated with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and universities to help produce 10,000 face shields; donated copolyesters to companies in Brazil to manufacture 20,000 face shields for hospitals; and donated critical PPE (personal protective equipment) including 180 N95 masks and 4,400 nitrile gloves to first responders in Massachusetts.

Other actions taken by Eastman

In addition, Eastman has converted a pilot plant at its largest U.S. manufacturing site to produce hand sanitizer for local schools and emergency responders.

“Quick, creative collaborations within our communities are making an impact,” said Mark Costa, Eastman board chair and CEO. “I am so proud of our hardworking Eastman employees who are guided by our shared vision that our work today will help slow down the spread of the virus tomorrow. Their courage, determination and innovative spirit will help Eastman and our local communities to navigate through the current situation and contribute to the world’s needs.”

Eastman products go into: cleaning products; packaging to prevent contamination of food, medicine, personal care and medical products; personal hygiene products, soaps and antiseptics; PPE used by medical personnel; and over-the-counter and prescription medications.

During the pandemic, Benzoflex non-phthalate plasticizers, manufactured in Chestertown, Md., continue to be used in food packaging adhesives and labeling, helping to maintain a safe food supply. Eastman tackifying resins, produced in Jefferson, Pa., are used in the manufacture of N95 masks. Those same resins also appear in high-demand cleaning solutions and disinfectants. Eastman also produces ethyl acetate, a key material in the packaging for COVID-19 testing equipment that will be going directly to hospitals.

About Eastman

Founded in 1920, Eastman is a Kingsport-based global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company’s innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries.

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