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Coronavirus Could Force Builders to Seek Respirator Options

March 18, 2020, 6:20 PM

The shortage of N95 respirators brought on by the new coronavirus could force construction companies to find alternative ways to protect workers from hazardous dusts while the government gives health-care facilities a higher priority for the masks.

The shortage was highlighted Tuesday by Vice President Michael Pence. “We would make one specific request, and that is we would urge construction companies to donate their inventory of N95 masks to your local hospital and forgo additional orders of those industrial masks,” Pence said at a White House briefing.

Until last week, industrial N95 respirators used by contractors weren’t approved by...

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