The reality of the disinfecting-wipes market
A major scam of fake wipes and cleaning products came to the surface towards the end of last year whereby it was revealed that scores of people were duped. Hundreds of complaints by the customers forced the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to initiate legal action against the fraudsters. Although the fake websites selling knock-off products or failing to deliver any products at all were taken down, thousands of consumers were already defrauded by then.
As the world struggles to recover from the pandemic, it can be assumed that the soaring demand for disinfecting wipes, sanitizing agents, and cleaning products will continue to attract such malicious actors to run such vicious scams. Hence, now more than ever, there is a need to stay alert and take the necessary steps to identify fake products.
The Herclean brand has gained massive popularity for its quality products and for its broad spectrum of disinfecting wipes for different purposes. The Herclean products are manufactured and distributed by Sunshine Global LLC – a US-based company that has a global presence and has built a reputation for making high-quality sanitizing, disinfecting, and cleaning products. Herclean offers a wide range of wipes in categories such as alcohol wipes, disinfecting wipes, antibacterial wipes, antiviral wipes, antiseptic wipes, baby wipes, and more. With rampant cases of fake products taking over the market, it is necessary to know the features of the original products. Let’s understand how to identify the counterfeit Herclean wipes and know the other precautions to take.
Precautions while buying the Herclean wipes
1) Label and logo
The original product is labelled and distributed by Kanga Medical supplies Company Ltd. And the original label will display what it is used for, like is it disinfecting, or antibacterial or antiviral, etc. It will have other information like product details, its composition, directions to use, warning, contents, etc. You can always check the information available on the packaging with the original website to be sure that you have the right product. Herclean has a unique logo and is an EPA-approved brand, so if you find any discrepancy in the logo then it’s a major red flag.
2) Flash Sales
During COVID, a fake website that was later taken down by FTC mentioned that it had sold 1200 units of pesticides while the rest of the market was struggling to keep up with the demand. Upon deeper inspection, the website was obviously found to be fake. Hence, it is advised to stay away from flash sales because the chances of fake products being sold during flash sales are quite high.
3) High Claims
Herclean is an EPA-approved brand that is reported to be effective against the virus only for a certain duration after being used and does not provide protection for extremely long durations. If the Herclean wipes available on-store or online claim to give long-lasting protection then it is certainly a counterfeit product.
It is recommended to buy Herclean wipes only from trusted websites. A preliminary check is to see if something feels amiss about the website like its logo, layout or overall setup. You can then investigate more about the website by reading through reviews and through a search engine. If you find any online complaints against the website, it is best to avoid the website. Disinfecting wipes, in general, have a huge demand-supply gap and hence fake wipes may find a way on the websites. Secondly, also check if Herclean wipes are out of stock on the other websites because only one website cannot have abundant supply while other websites have run dry.
5) Terms and conditions for online orders
Check out the following factors while placing online orders:
1) Total cost of Herclean wipes and compare it with the ones available elsewhere.
2) If the price is inclusive of taxes and shipping fee or are there any hidden costs that pop out at the last stage on the order page.
3) Check out if the expected delivery time is fair.
4) Read the terms of the return policy.
Did you know that payments made by credit card are covered under Federal Law and you are eligible to receive the full amount in case you don’t get the product that you ordered online? If you receive fake wipes, first approach the customer service and if the issue is not resolved you have a right to file a dispute case. If you are skeptical about the order make sure you make the payment using a credit card to use the immunity just in case you land up with counterfeit Herclean wipes.
The bottom line
Although many knock-off products are circulating in the market, it is advisable to investigate a few things before placing the order. You can buy Herclean wipes from Pipeline medical, which is a trusted medical supplier that provides free shipping, a 100% money-back guarantee, and more. If you find any counterfeit Herclean wipes do report the scam on FTC website so that appropriate legal action can be initiated.
Due to the pandemic, face masks saw a huge upsurge in demand and have become an essential item as personal protective equipment. Beyond that, masks have become a mainstay as part of our attire when we step outdoors. While there is a raging and constant debate about the need for masks, the CDC ubiquitously recommends wearing masks to protect ourselves and help prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
However, with the addition of masks, our daily lives have changed in some evident and some subtle ways. Let us examine how masks affect our daily life.
Some of the positive effects include the following:
- Masks as protection
Cloth face masks made of light and breathable fabrics are used by the general public to control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and to ensure that there is no dearth of surgical masks for healthcare professionals and frontline workers. The CDC states that, although a cloth mask does not prevent exposure to the virus completely, wearing a mask ensures the slow or controlled spread of the virus. The best part about using a cloth mask is that it can be washed and reused. Apart from protecting the users from the virus, face masks also provide effective protection from pollution.
- Mandatory use of masks
To control the pandemic, it is important to wear a mask in crowded public spaces, where the risk of contracting the virus is high. Most countries have made it mandatory to wear masks in public spaces. It is now everyone’s duty to wear a mask before leaving their house. From shopping malls and supermarkets to local grocery stores, all places now have signs to ensure that only people with masks can enter the space. However, people who violate the rule and forget to wear masks are questioned and fined, with countries such as Germany fining violators up to 5000 Euros for not wearing masks.
- Masks as fashion accessories
As face masks have become a part of daily life, people are making a fashion statement with their masks and wearing them as accessories. Matching masks with clothes of different colors and materials, people now even wear embellished and decorative masks suitable for different festivals and occasions. The market for designer masks is shaping up with the increase in demand, ensuring that more and more people wear masks.
On the flipside, there are some negative aspects that follow wearing masks on a daily basis.
Using masks continuously throughout the day can cause the wearer discomfort and physical side effects, reported mainly among medical and science professionals. According to a study conducted on 158 healthcare professionals during the pandemic, about 80% of the subjects experienced headache due to prolonged usage of face masks. Moreover, because exhaled air contains more carbon dioxide than inhaled air. Wearing masks for long durations can cause carbon dioxide build-up in the breathing region of the mask. This can be detrimental to people with existing respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. And long-term use of masks can worsen existing conditions and further impair respiratory function, causing other health problems and co-morbidities such as fatigue and heart conditions. Apart from this, face masks can cause dermatitis, rashes, itchiness, and redness around the mouth due to the accumulation of sweat, saliva, or water vapor where the mask touches the skin. Moreover, wearing face masks cause glasses to fog up, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of discomfort and accidents.
- Masks when worn by infected people:
When people infected by the virus wear a mask, there is a risk that the virus load within the mask can increase dramatically as the virus is trapped and thus keeps circulating within the breathing region. Furthermore, the air exhaled through a face mask often reaches the eyes and increases the chances of people touching their eyes. This can result in infection if the wearer’s hands are contaminated.
- Psychological effects:
Wearing masks can give people a false sense of security, giving them freedom to misbehave and be non-compliant to control measures. The use of masks covers the lower half of the face, which is essential for communication, understanding emotional states, and recognizing faces. Therefore, wearing masks impairs face recognition and identification, affects speech/language and communication, and prevents emotional signaling among people. Those with disabilities, who rely on the physical and emotional cues, may be at a disadvantage due to masks.
As the quintessential polarizing product and despite their advantages and negative aspects, masks have surely but subtly changed our daily lives to a point where we cannot imagine leaving our homes without wearing one. As long as the pandemic continues, masks are going to remain an essential part of our lives. Visit Pipeline Medical for more information about face masks.
What it Takes to Course Correct the Medical Supply Chain in a Post-COVID era
The fragile state of the medical supply chain was clearly exposed during the covid-19 pandemic. Last year, the US’s emergency inventory of 12 million N95 masks was found to not be enough to meet the demand during the corona outbreak. Not only that but it was reported that it would take 4 long months until the country could manufacture and supply enough N95 masks to meet the soaring demand of 300 million respirators. Fast forward to February this year and we find the medical supply chain failing yet again to support another medical emergency in the form of the Texas winter storm. In hindsight, it could be argued that what led to the massive medical supply chain failure was the blackout in Texas that forced various chemical plants that supply essential raw materials to medical manufacturing companies to shut down. This also points to a lack of warehouses that could have stockpiled the medical supplies bringing a major relief during the crisis irrespective of the black-out. This event has put the need for a robust medical supply chain at the center stage.
The current state of the medical supply chain and the distribution of medical supplies and PPE
Lending political Support
The US-Government under the leadership of President Joe Biden has geared up to shape medical supply to withstand any pressure by taking a progressive approach in building it up from all aspects including, raw-material, technology, telecommunications, electronics, etc. The problem areas of the medical supply chain were highlighted during the previous government which was ignored despite the red flags being raised about the concerns of over-dependence on imports for medical supplies.
Eradicating existing problems
However, the current state still faces acute challenges in meeting the increasing demand for essential medical supplies and PPEs. Did you know that the PPE gears like face masks, gloves are rationed for frontline health workers who need them the most? Acute shortage of disposable Nitrile gloves that are critical while handling the patients that help in reducing the risks has led the prices soaring from 30 USD to 300$. The rising demand and lack of distribution have invited counterfeit products to take deeper roots across the medical supply markets. And similar-looking features of the fake medical supplies and PPEs leave the population gullible to health-risks.
Combatting counterfeit products
Furthermore, many small-time traders are jumping the distribution-bandwagon simply to generate higher brokerage, which is leading to a wider gap between the manufacturers and suppliers further disrupting the market. Hence, there is a need, now more than ever, for bulk purchasers to develop a rapport with the manufacturers and distributors. While the individual buyers need to be educated to understand the difference between genuine and knock-off products. The harsh reality is that nitrile gloves especially in North America will heavily depend on imports as infrastructure to support the supply will take years to shape up.
Identifying the Government’s role
The supply chain of PPE is also hampered due to non-existent long-term contracts between the manufacturers/distributors and hospitals that otherwise would result in consolidated purchase instead of relying on imports, incurring heavy costs. Interestingly, the Federal government’s role in mediating in this situation could make a world of difference by imposing certain mandates related to the duration of contracts and creating a stronger network between the two. Fortunately, American Medical Association (AMA) has recently urged the Federal body to effect new regulations and form a coordinated distribution network to help increase the production of PPE gears with immediate effect.
The bottom line
Although the realistic view of the current state of the distribution of medical supplies and PPE does point at many loopholes and bottleneck situations, a constructive approach will help build a better medical supply chain of tomorrow. In our endeavor to do our bit, Pipeline Medical is working towards bridging various loopholes and become instrumental in rebuilding the medical supply chain.
Established in 2007, Pipeline Medical is operating as one of the most trusted providers of medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE). Consolidating various manufacturers and supply chain organizations, Pipeline Medical has carved a special niche for itself in the highly technical field of medical equipment distribution. Functioning as a distribution partner of various medical manufacturers, Pipeline Medical has been a one of the foremost providers of medical supplies and specialty products of Medline – a leading manufacturer of high-quality state-of-the-art medical equipment.
Although Medline has a distributor network, here is why Pipeline Medical is your preferred Medline Distributor.
- Direct Partnership: Pipeline Medical has a direct distribution partnership with Medline and various other manufacturers, ensuring exclusive factory direct distribution and provision of medical supplies. With their expertise in supply chains and logistics, Pipeline Medical ensures direct, efficient, and timely delivery of medical products.
- Operations: Pipeline Medical has optimized its functions and consolidated multiple supply chains for consistent and efficient distribution/supply of medical equipment as and when required. With streamlined operations, they offer free expert Material Management support to help with pricing, ensuring annual savings of 20%–50% on medical supplies per year, and management of supply chains, saving up to 12 hours of work time spent per week.
- Customer Service: With a committed customer support team to help with requirements, recommendations, and queries, Pipeline Medical ensures excellent customer service, which has established their consistent presence in the market. With this, the ease of order placement is apparent as all orders can be placed online using the web store or offline via phone, email, or fax.
- Products: Sourcing high-quality products directly from manufacturers such as Medline, Pipeline Medical offers a wide range of products that are required at healthcare institutions, including medical equipment, medicines, injectables, fillers, lab equipment, surgical equipment, disposables, and PPE at reasonable prices.
- Pricing: With competitive rates, Pipeline Medical offers a range of high-quality products with pricing tiers based on the customer’s budget. Pipeline ensures that their customers save from 20% to 50% on medical supplies per year and allow members access to high-end and high-price medical and pharmaceutical products at an economical cost.
- Customer Base: Pipeline Medical has a long-standing customer base and has supplied equipment to various government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels; integrated delivery networks; group purchasing organizations; healthcare facilities; and other markets such as Retail, Industrial, Aviation, Hospitality, and so on.
- Delivery and Distribution: Pipeline Medical ensures exclusive distribution directly from the manufacturing unit. Monitoring the output every step of the way and ensuring complete compliance with all the standard regulations, deliveries are completed within 1-2 days with free Material Management service for free. Moreover, Pipeline is known for its quick and consistent delivery, ensuring that all products are available at all times.
- Ethics: Pipeline Medical has been established by medical professionals to assist the community of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers and add value to their service. Complying with all the federal regulations, Pipeline Medical is built on a strong framework of ethics and responsibility when it comes to business in the medical field. Putting the customers’ needs before everything else, Pipeline is built on the core values of ethics and transparency, which makes them the most reliable distributors in the business.
- Stellar Performance during Testing Times – Perhaps nowhere else was Pipeline Medicals role more relevant and visible than during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a frontrunner, we have stood by both the government and the healthcare industry by being a pillars of strong support. It is this commitment and zeal towards our work that makes Pipeline Medical the ideal choice for multitudes of people across the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the healthcare system to its limits, driving the market to increase production of medical equipment such as masks and respirators. With the fast-tracked production of COVID-19 vaccines, new requirements have emerged for their trials, testing, and administration. And considering that the entire population of the world requires vaccination, the demand for syringes and needles is rising drastically.
According to reports, the syringe market worldwide is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 10% from 2020 to 2025. However, the high demand for syringes can affect medical practices in the following ways.
1. Prioritization of syringes:
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, about 5%–10% of the total number of syringes produced was used for the purpose of vaccination and immunization against diseases like typhoid, measles, tetanus, etc. The use of syringes is primarily restricted to accident or trauma cases; blood sample collection and monitoring; injection of medication; and diagnosis and treatment of cancer, diabetes, infections, and chronic ailments. Unfortunately, with massive vaccination drives, the current global scenario necessitates that syringes are prioritized for COVID-19 vaccinations. Although this measure ensures that the pandemic is controlled, in medical practice, this can lead to a dearth of syringes in case of emergencies. Several healthcare facilities worldwide raised concerns regarding whether to prioritize medical injections for patients with diabetes versus COVID-19 vaccinations.
2. Syringe shortage:
In 2021, global organizations such as UNICEF anticipate the stockpiling and delivery of 1 billion syringes to support COVID-19 vaccination. However, about 8–10 billion syringes will be required to vaccinate the entire population. Although several companies have stepped up and are accelerating the production and procurement of syringes and needles, the entire population cannot be vaccinated at the same time. Vaccination for high-risk groups is being prioritized to prevent shortages. Similar to the shortages of personal protective equipment seen earlier during the pandemic, a high demand for immediate vaccination can result in a syringe shortage. A syringe shortage can further burden the healthcare system and disrupt routine medical practice. A shortage can be avoided by facilitating rapid manufacture of syringes through innovation and technology.
3. Accelerated production of syringes:
Key global syringe manufacturers such as Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD); B Braun Melsungen; Terumo; and Teleflex have stepped up to facilitate rapid production of syringes. Moreover, BD claimed to have received orders up to 1 billion syringes to support the vaccination drives and prevent shortages. They aim to supply syringes worldwide and also help non-governmental organizations to support vaccination plans in developing countries. These companies plan to produce and circulate a massive quantity of syringes, with maximum volumes dedicated to COVID-19 control and a sufficient amount of injections to maintain routine healthcare requirements to prevent disruption of medical practice.
4. Innovation and technology:
The high demand for syringes is thus likely to facilitate innovation using technology for not only quicker production but also administration of drugs and medication. Medical practice will eventually reap the benefits advancement in syringe design and technology with products such as self-injection devices and pre-filled injections. Several manufacturers worldwide have improved facilities to expedite the process of syringe production. Furthermore, with programs such as the Vaccine Innovation Prioritization Strategy, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization or GAVI aims to promote innovative approaches to overcome the dilemma of prioritization, shortages, and other issues surrounding mass vaccination.
Although the high demand for syringes may cause shortages initially, the demands can easily be met through innovation and strategies laid down by global organizations to prevent the pandemic from burdening healthcare facilities. In this regard, there is an increased demand on all stakeholders of the entire supply chain right from manufactures, wholesalers and distributors, retailers, hospitals, vaccination centers, healthcare personnel etc., to be vigilant, ethical, and stay sharp when it comes to syringes.
In our bid to contribute, we at Pipeline Medical continue to offer sustainably produced, high-quality medical equipment including syringes to meet the growing demand in an ethical and moral way.
Out of 111 million population affected by COVID, globally, 28.1 million cases are from the US alone, as of 22 of February 2020. With the rising number of COVID cases, the usage of effective masks has become imperative. While the year 2020 was eclipsed by a coronavirus, the year 2021 has come under the attack of a new mutant strain, B.1.1.7 which is 70% more contagious than SARS-CoV2. Therefore, it is advisable not to let the guard down even if the lockdown is over and follow the COVID norms by maintaining social distance, washing hands, and wearing masks. And not just any mask but wearing effective ones is what will get you through these troubling times
As per Mayo Clinic, N95 masks are far more effective than regular masks and medical masks because they prevent large and small particles from passing through. Due to the higher efficiency of these masks to prevent the transmission of coronavirus the research is going to turn these disposable masks into durable to reuse them. The National Institute of occupational safety and health (NIOSH) is the regulatory body that certifies the quality and effectiveness of N95 masks. Apart from N95 face masks, N95 respirators are available in the market which is approved by U.S. Food and drug administration (FDA) and NIOSH for better filtration and fluid resistance.
What is N95 mask
N in the N95 masks means non-oil which means that the masks are highly recommended to use in a setting that is free of oil particles. Likewise, R in some other masks means they are resistant to oil to some extent whereas P means it is oil-proof. Whereas, 95 stands for efficiency percentage which means that N95 masks filter out 95% of particles above 0.3 microns, efficient in protecting against airborne particles, however not oil-resistant.
How are N95 masks produced
The masks are made from mesh-like layers of non-woven polypropylene fabric. The first two coatings of the masks facing outside and inside are spun-bond. In the process of spun-bonding, nozzles are used to create a piece of fabric by blowing melted threads of polypropylene. These threads are anywhere between 15-35 micrometers which are blown through the nozzle on the conveyor belt. This raw mesh then goes through a thermal, mechanical, and chemical treatment to form a stronger bond. The first two coatings on the outside of the mask are somewhere between 20 and 50 g/m2 thick which is the 1st line of defense against the contaminants.
Another needled nonwoven pre-filtration layer of 250 g/m2 thickness is added along with a filtration layer. This pre-filtration material passes through the barbed needles to strongly bond the layers together. The next process that this pre-filtration layer goes through is a calendering process to thermally bond the fabric using specialized rolls. Then the final layer is made from melt-blown electret nonwoven material. The process of melt-blown uses the nozzles to air spray the threads of melted synthetic polymers on the conveyor belt. These threads begin to cool off and bond along the conveyor belt and turn into fabric. After this stage, sometimes the material goes through thermal bonding to make it stronger. The final stage of developing a mask from this fabric is achieved by using a converting machine that helps join these layers together using ultrasonic welding. It is at this stage that the straps are attached and the shape of the mask is formed which can snugly fit. And the masks are ready for distribution but not before serialization.
List of global manufacturers and distributors of N95 masks
Venus safety and health Pvt. ltd. is a global leader in manufacturing and distributing neck-up personal protective equipment (PPE), since 1986. It offers 15 different variants of N95 masks to suit the wide range of requirements of the users. Venus has factory outlets based in India and sales offices in the Netherlands, India, and UAE. It holds a great reputation for its high-quality products and for being ISO 9001:2015 standard.
Based in Santa Ana, California, Honeywell is a world-renowned brand known for its wide range of safety product-line across many industry verticals. As of now, the company is upping the production of N95 masks to meet the surging demand. Honeywell is a manufacturer and distributor of both N95 masks and respirators with a valve that reduces the strain due to exaltation.
3 M, a business conglomerate that offers high-quality safety equipment has more than 50 types of N95 masks and respirators in its catalog. This US-based is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors in the world. The masks are approved by NIOSH and the N95 respirator even comes with a microfilter to allow higher breathability.
Makrite is based in Taiwan which was founded in 1984 is a manufacturer and distributor of disposable masks. The manufacturing unit is regularly evaluated for quality by NIOSH. Makrite manufactures 40+ NIOSH-approved masks that follow stringent quality checks to maintain the quality batch after batch.
Shanghai Desheng, based in China is a leading brand production face mask and known for top-quality N95 masks. The company manufactures and distributes over 30 different N95 Masks that are toxic-free, irritant-free, and glass-fiber-free and approved by FDA.
A US-based company, formed in 1989 is a global leader in manufacturing and distributing personal protective equipment. Alpha Protech produces a broad spectrum of N95 face masks and follows stringent quality checks. The N95 Masks produced by Alpha Protech are approved by WHO and NIOSH.
Although N95 is the most reliable mask available in the market there are several variants available with this category. These spun-bond polypropylene masks are known to filter out 95% of particles above 0.3 microns. NIOSH-approved N95 masks would be the best against COVID.