The SMSA (Secure Mask Supply Association) is an organization founded by domestically-owned and operated surgical and respirator mask manufacturers to raise awareness regarding the importance of prevention and readiness by creating and maintaining an infrastructure for an American-made mask supply. Currently, most of the US mask and respirator supply is made outside of the United States, putting the supply at risk in the hands of foreign government-controlled manufacturing
During the relatively mild H1N1 outbreak of 2009/2010, two of the five foreign manufacturers that made America's vaccines diverted vaccines intended for America to their own country, reducing the US supply. SMSA envisions a similar scenario in the case of an infectious disease pandemic. Simply put, the United States is not prepared to meet the needs of the country with its domestic manufacturing capacity for masks and respirators.
To strengthen America’s future vaccine supply, the US government funded three domestic vaccine manufacturing facilities. The government believes that a US-controlled supply is a more secure supply.
Though the government has explicitly expressed concerned about the availability of America’s foreign-controlled mask and respirator supply during global emergencies, it has no stated plans to encourage the return of mask manufacturing to the United States. SMSA believes it is critical that domestic manufacturing capacity be increased by encouraging US companies to bring their factories back to the United States.
To be clear, it is not the intent of the SMSA to make claims or recommendations pertaining to the appropriate use of masks and/or respirators other than for what they are cleared or certified for through appropriate regulatory agencies. We defer those question to more qualified scientific and public health experts. Our emphasis is on preparedness – having sufficient supply of such resources as science and policy may warrant.