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The U.S. disposable face mask market size was valued at USD 20.02 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 9.17 billion in 2022 to USD 9.97 billion by 2031, exhibiting a CAGR of 0.9% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with disposable face mask experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the United States market exhibited a growth of 279.8% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Disposable face masks have been a crucial component throughout the pandemic in limiting the spread of the virus. Medical face masks, especially those used in the healthcare sector, play a critical role in protecting healthcare workers from airborne infectious diseases. Demand for healthcare Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has increased significantly due to the pandemic. The situation regarding the pandemic has improved significantly. Even though the negative impact of the pandemic has significantly reduced relative to the early phase of the pandemic, the demand for healthcare PPE, including face masks, remains strong. This trend is expected to continue, owing to the emergence of new, more contagious virus variants. This factor is expected to benefit and create new opportunities for the U.S. disposable face mask market growth.
Increased Demand for Face Masks due to COVID-19 Pandemic is Expected to Drive Market Growth
The demand for face masks skyrocketed during the initial phase of the pandemic. However, the supply was significantly hampered due to supply chain disruptions caused by lockdown restrictions enforced across the globe. The outbreak of the pandemic disrupted the critical supply chains and resulted in a shortage of PPE, including disposable face masks, among other things. Manufacturing companies ramped up their existing production capacities to meet the unprecedented demand. Additionally, several new players without experience in mask manufacturing started retrofitting their assembly lines to manufacture face masks. For example, in March 2020, the U.S.-based Hanes clothing company retrofitted its factories to manufacture face masks. Attributed to the pandemic, disposable face masks that healthcare workers typically used are now widely used by the general public. Since mask coverings play a critical role in protection against virus infection, the emergence of new more contagious virus variants is likely to prompt higher demand from both the general public and frontline workers.
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Expanding Healthcare Industry to Boost Protective Face Mask Market Progress
The healthcare sector is witnessing rapid expansion worldwide and the U.S. due to rising healthcare spending over the past few decades. According to the American Medical Association, health spending in the United States increased by 9.7% in 2020 relative to the previous year. The USD 12,530 per capita spending on healthcare in the U.S. is higher than the global average. The current global COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented demand for protective face masks in the healthcare industry. These protective masks have proven to reduce exposure to the virus, thus limiting its spread among people. The current market conditions, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, highlight the need for continued innovation in the healthcare sector. Additionally, the rising geriatric population base in the United States is likely to prompt faster expansion in the country's healthcare sector during the forecast period. Thus, the rising importance of personnel safety at healthcare facilities is expected to drive market growth.
Rising Adoption of Better Industrial Safety and Hygiene Standards to Drive Market Growth
The global automotive industry is among one of the fastest expanding sectors worldwide. With the advent of electric mobility, the demand for commercial and passenger vehicles from the U.S. has increased significantly over the last decade. Workers in the automotive sector need to wear appropriate PPE, including face masks for industrial purposes and protect themselves from hazardous airborne particles encountered during the manufacturing process.
Workers exposed to these airborne particles and toxic chemicals for an extended time period may experience serious health issues. Using appropriate PPE while in contact with these pollutants can considerably minimize health risks and prevent employees from future illnesses. Additionally, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, manufacturing, and metal workers are also at risk of inhaling hazardous particles, gases, and vapors. This factor has resulted in a considerable increase in the demand for protective masks.
Governments across the globe are adopting stringent regulations in a bid to safeguard the workers from getting exposed to harmful pollutants encountered in various end-use industries. The strict government regulations and increasing workers’ awareness regarding personal safety are anticipated to boost the market growth.
Environmental Issues Encountered Due to Excess Plastic Waste Generation from Face Masks is Expected to Hinder Market Growth
Plastic microfibers are the filter medium in most one-time-use face masks. Plastic also makes up the nose wire strips, elastic ear loop, and adjustable ear loops in addition to the main filter medium. As a result, a significant portion of disposable face masks is composed of plastic. Single-use plastic face masks have shown to be an efficient means of minimizing virus transmission and saving lives.
However, ineffective guidelines for disposing of discarded masks have and negatively influenced the environment. Microplastic contamination is a major issue globally. Microplastic fibers present in disposable masks have the potential to exacerbate this problem since their small size allows them to break down into particles more quickly than bulk plastics such as plastic bags. People are becoming more environmentally concerned in general. As a result of increased environmental concerns, they are likely to be more inclined to choose an eco-friendly option such as a reusable cloth mask over a single-use mask. Since the disposal of single-use face masks remains a pressing environmental issue, it is expected to hinder the market growth.
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Protective Mask Segment to Hold Significant Market Share Owing to Strong Adoption from Various End-use Industries
Based on product, the market is segmented into protective mask, dust mask, and non-woven mask.
The protective mask segment is anticipated to be the largest segment during the forecast period. Surgical face masks, such as N95, KN95, and other disposable masks, help healthcare personnel who undertake medical activities such as performing surgery without affecting the sterile environment. Additionally, N95 respirators are mostly used in construction and other industrial-type jobs that expose workers to dust and small particles. The perfect fit offered by these types of masks makes them a great option as an adult mask. The tighter fit of the mask eliminates the need for double masking, providing better comfort to the wearer while working and prompting wider adoption across different end-use industries.
Offline Segment to Hold a Significant Share Owing to Better Accessibility to Brick and Mortar Stores
In terms of distribution channel, the market is segmented into online and offline.
The offline segment is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period. Offline retail sales in the U.S. in 2018, 2019, and 2020 accounted for 90.1%, 89.0%, and 85.5% of the total retail sales in the region. Personal protective equipment, such as disposable face masks and respirators, are purchased through offline channels. This factor includes brick and mortar structures such as convenience stores, supermarkets, and brand outlets, among others. Several brands choose to market and sell their products through pharmacies and drug stores as these stores feature a wide range of such masks.
Industrial Segment is Expected to Account for Significant Share due to Adoption of Stricter Workplace Safety and Health Standards
In terms of application, the market is segmented into industrial and personal.
The industrial sector is anticipated to dominate during the forecast period, owing to stringent workplace safety and health standards. Rapid industrialization and stringent safety regulations by the government are expected to increase the demand for protective face masks, resulting in the overall market growth in the U.S. These face masks are widely used in construction, pharmaceutical, mining, and agriculture industries due to dust and hazardous gases. Growing industrialization and increasing construction activities are likely to create a huge demand for disposable face masks and respirators in the region.
South U.S. has evolved as a manufacturing hub over the past few decades. The region is home to several automobile manufacturing plants, including major automobile players such as Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW, GM, and Honda, among others. Disposable face masks are widely used during automobile manufacturing and other industrial processes. These face masks are critical to safeguard workers from airborne contaminants encountered during manufacturing. Regions expanding industrialization along with their rising population are likely to generate demand for disposable face masks during the forecast period.
Midwest U.S. is considered one of the most important farming regions in the U.S. While conducting farming activities, different types of masks and respirators are employed depending upon the risk level of the task. Since pesticides and other toxic chemicals are widely employed in farming, lack of appropriate personal protective equipment can result in serious illnesses. Additionally, the region has other industries such as mining and manufacturing. Strong demand for protective face masks in the region from farming, manufacturing, and mining industries is anticipated to drive market growth.
The Northeastern region is among the most densely populated regions in the U.S. Due to its high population and better purchasing power states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania, the region witnessed significant market growth during the pandemic.
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West U.S. is among the regions with a robust mining sector. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGC), Nevada accounted for 83% of the U.S. gold production. Additionally, Arizona is the West's leading copper and remains an important industry in the state. A lot of dust particles are encountered while mining. These airborne particles, if inhaled, can result in severe respiratory diseases. To protect miners from such illness, the governing authorities have strict rules that require masks in the workplace.
Companies Adopt Strategic Planning to Strengthen their Market Presence
The U.S. disposable face mask market share is a highly fragmented market with the presence of large international firms as well as small domestic companies. Strategic collaborations and other similar strategies are being employed by companies to address the extensive consumer base by introducing various new products.
The major companies, such as 3M, Ansell, Honeywell, DuPont, and KCWW, are established in the market with high brands and a large consumer base. The large consumer base for disposable protective face mask includes end-use industries such as industrial, mining, healthcare, construction, oil & gas, among other sectors. The rising demand for face masks due to the pandemic is likely to prompt market players to enhance the quality of their products. Several other companies, such as Uvex Group, AlphaProTech, SAS Safety Corp., DACH Schutzbekleidung GmbH & Co. KG, the Gerson Company, and JIANGSU TEYIN IMP. & EXP. Co., LTD., are active participants in the market.
An Infographic Representation of U.S. Disposable Face Mask Market
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The research report provides a detailed market analysis and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, products, and products. Also, it offers insights into market trends analysis and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the abovementioned factors, the report encompasses various factors contributing to the market's growth in recent years. It further includes historical data & forecasts revenue growth at global and region levels, and analyzes the industry's latest market dynamics and opportunities.
Value (USD Billion)
By Product, Distribution Channel, Application, and Region
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the U.S. market size was USD 20.02 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 9.97 billion by 2031.
In 2021, the Northeast U.S. market size stood at USD 4.69 billion.
Registering a CAGR of 0.9%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2022-2031).
The industrial segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.
An increase in the adoption of better industrial safety and hygiene standards is anticipated to drive market growth
3M, Honeywell International Inc., Moldex-Metric, and Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. are a few major players in the market.
South U.S. dominated the market share in 2021.
Rising consumer awareness regarding the use of protective face masks is anticipated to drive the market and create new market opportunities.
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