The global surgical masks market size was USD 4.02 Billion in 2021 and is expected to register a revenue CAGR of 10.9% during the forecast period. Increasing need for preventing the spread of viral infections, growing need to prevent the transfer of droplets, splashes, and sprays in healthcare settings, and increasing need to mitigate exposure to particulate air pollution are key factors driving the global surgical masks market revenue growth.
Countries are stockpiling face masks in preparation for antiviral interventions during an influenza pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic caused severe economic damage primarily due to a drop in demand for a range of products and services. According to a data, the global GDP declined by 4.5% in 2020, almost USD 2.96 Trillion in lost economic output. A pandemic of influenza or other respiratory diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) can result in shortages of masks, antiviral drugs, or delayed delivery of vaccines. Thus, non-pharmacological interventions such as masks, handwashing, and other hygiene measures, could be effective early control measures. According to a survey in 2020, 15% of U.S. adults are extremely concerned about SARS. The usage of a mask was linked to a lower risk of infection from influenza-like illness (ILI). The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend using surgical masks to prevent the transmission of Coronavirus and other airborne diseases. On 8 April 2022, The WHO evaluated the safety and effectiveness of the following vaccines against COVID-19. In addition to reducing influenza virus RNA detection in respiratory droplets, surgical face masks also lowered Coronavirus RNA detection in aerosols, with a tendency toward reducing coronavirus RNA detection in respiratory droplets. Virus infections of the respiratory system resulting in wide-ranging symptoms known as Acute Respiratory Viruses Illnesses (ARIs). As a result, surgical masks are important for preventing the transfer of viruses. Some health authorities advise the use of masks to prevent forward transmission, which is expected to boost demand for surgical masks.
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Infectious diseases are common among health workers. Thus, use of a surgical face mask is essential to control the spread of infections, especially when avoiding the transmission of droplets. For instance, on 5 June 2020, the WHO updated the guidelines regarding mask-wearing. The World Health Organization recommended surgical masks for every clinical work in a health facility, along with those dealing with COVID-19 patients. The WHO instructs people aged 60 and older, and those with underlying medical conditions, should wear a surgical mask in areas with community transmission where physical distancing is not possible. Customers have increasingly been turning to surgical face masks due to rising pollution levels and air-borne diseases. According to a data, surgical face masks are 68% effective in blocking the spread of SARS. In addition, geriatric patients with chronic conditions are more susceptible to infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 along with their health-related problems, leading to surgeries, are expected to drive demand for surgical masks among them.
Driver: Increasing need to prevent transferring of droplets, splashes, and sprays and to mitigate exposure to particulate air pollution
Emergence of different types of diseases followed by an increase in the number of surgeries or operations conducted globally is expected to boost demand for surgical masks over the forecast period. According to data, the total number of inpatient surgical procedures performed in China in 2020 was 66 million. Increase in surgeries is driving the growth of the surgical mask market. Surgical masks are sterile, resistant to dust and other foreign antigens, do not absorb germs or viruses and are widely used to prevent transmission of infections and maintain cleanliness. Demand for surgical masks is expected to increase over the forecast period owing to high risk of hospital-acquired infections among patients and healthcare workers. The COVID-19 pandemic, which was caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, has impacted billions of people around the world. Surgical masks helped to prevent COVID-19 exposure and limit its spread. According to a study, when someone sneezes or coughs, droplets from their nose or mouth can travel a considerable distance, which can cause an infection in another person. The CDC and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have strictly mandated the use of surgical masks and recommended social distancing to control the spread of Coronavirus. ARIs are more common among healthcare professionals, which can be decreased by using surgical masks. Several studies have shown that surgical masks are effective in limiting the transmission of influenza-like illness (ILI) and laboratory-confirmed influenza among symptomatic patients, which is expected to boost the market revenue growth. In addition, most effective masks can filter up to 95% of the airborne particles down to 0.3 microns, using internationally recognized standards.
Restraint: Consistent use of surgical masks leads to headaches, rash, acne, and skin breakdown
Long term use of surgical face masks causes headaches, nasal dryness, eye dryness, and acne. In addition to affecting health, prolonged use of masks can decrease work productivity and increase stress levels of health care workers. According to a survey, it was found that headache (23%), nasal dryness (22%), eye dryness (19%), and acne (12%) were the most common symptoms, followed by skin breakdown (5%), impaired cognition (5%), and epistaxis (5%), all of which are related to wearing the mask for a prolonged period. According to a data, the most challenging part was impaired cognition. A few healthcare workers experience impaired cognition after wearing a mask for more than an hour. These factors are expected to hamper market revenue growth.
Material Type Insights:
Based on material type, the global surgical masks market is segmented into polypropylene (PP), polyurethane, polyester, and cotton. The cotton segment is expected to register a fast revenue growth rate during the forecast period. Cotton surgical masks are known for providing great protection against patients’ respiratory secretions to healthcare workers. Cotton fibers inhibit the transfer of viruses, pathogenic bacteria, and fungi better than synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon. These materials’ unique physical, chemical, and isoelectric properties ensure comfort and breathability. Cotton is an ideal option for face masks to protect against a wide range of hazardous microbial infections, including Coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV-2. The popularity of cotton surgical masks has increased due to their air purification and filtration ability, germ blocking ability, and easy ventilation, which are expected to boost the demand for cotton surgical masks.
The polypropylene (PP) segment is expected to register considerable revenue share in the global market during the forecast period. Increasing demand for polypropylene in non-woven fabric masks due to its features such as breathability and washability, are offering an added layer for air filtration. Polypropylene is non-toxic breathable, hydrophobic, lightweight, and inexpensive. Polypropylene in medical-grade masks has three layerings that are used to prevent the transmission of airborne particles, which is expected to drive revenue growth in the segment during the forecast period.
Product Type Insights:
Based on product type, the global market has been segmented into reusable masks, disposable masks, basic surgical masks, anti-fog surgical masks, fluid/splash resistant, surgical masks, and others. The basic surgical mask segment is expected to account for largest revenue share over the forecast period due to rising demand for surgical masks from the healthcare industry. The basic surgical mask is more economical than other surgical masks and is commonly available in health facilities, department shops, drugstores, and online platforms. Basic surgical masks can be used in hospitals as well as in outdoor and indoor settings to prevent the spread of viruses through the inhalation of airborne particulates. Surgical masks are also disposable, which makes them more comfortable for their users.
The fluid/splash-resistant surgical mask segment is expected to register a considerably robust revenue growth rate over the forecast period. These masks are utilized in situations where a significant concentration of fluid protection is necessary, such as in surgical units and cardiac labs, to minimize spoilage from blood and other body fluids. Fluid-resistant surgical masks help the wearer by limiting the transmission of respiratory secretions produced by coughing or sneezing while being exposed to sick patients, which is expected to drive revenue growth in the segment.
Distribution Channel Insights:
Based on distribution channels, the global surgical masks market is segmented into online and offline. The offline segment is expected to register a fast revenue growth rate during the forecast period. The offline segment includes drug stores and pharmacies, and consumers prefer shopping for surgical masks at drug stores and pharmacies since they get personalized advice, high-quality service, competitive prices, and a wide selection of masks that allow them to compare different masks and determine whether the material is right for them. According to estimates, pharmacy and drug store sales in the U.S. were around USD 27.7 Billion in 2022. These factors are expected to drive revenue growth in the offline segment over the forecast period.
The online segment is expected to register a considerably robust revenue CAGR in the global market during the forecast period. The e-commerce channel has been significantly influential in changing people’s buying habits since it provides benefits such as doorstep delivery and discounts and allows them to purchase a broad range of goods on one platform. Major companies in the industry are building e-commerce websites in developing regions, due to the growing popularity of online platforms. Alibaba and Amazon, two of the world’s biggest e-commerce giants, have made enormous investments in the online pharmacy businesses. For instance, on 9 December 2020, Amazon.com, Inc. is considering an investment of USD 100 Million in Apollo Pharmacy, India’s pharmacy chain. The investment is intended to expand Amazon’s presence in India and the country’s fast-growing drug market. In addition, some of the online pharmacies are SecurePharma Online, Netmeds, Blink Health, Honeybee Health, and others.
Based on end-use, the global market has been segmented into hospitals & clinics, industrial & institutional, and personal/individual protection. The hospitals & clinics segment is expected to register a fast revenue growth rate over the forecast period. Increasing healthcare facilities have led to an increase in surgical operations across the globe. The growth in revenue for this segment is also attributed to an increase in Outpatient Department (OPD) sessions in hospitals and clinics, as well as a rise in the number of specific surgical procedures. Hospitals and clinics are increasingly using surgical masks to reduce direct contact with virus contamination from outside. In addition, surgical masks are essential in ensuring the safety of healthcare workers delivering treatment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on regional analysis, the market in Asia Pacific is expected to account for the largest revenue share in the global market during the forecast period. Rapid growth rate of the market is attributed to increasing government stringent rules and regulations implementing mask mandates was associated with a relatively rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 in countries such as China and India among others. Increasing presence of healthcare institutions in the region has led to adoption of surgical masks to prevent Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs). According to data, India had around 69,000 public and private hospitals in 2019 and this number is rising steadily. The COVID-19 virus outbreak in India has had a significant impact on surgical mask demand, as surgical masks reduce virus infection among symptomatic, asymptomatic, and pre-symptomatic patients. According to WHO, the total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in India is 43,142,192 from 3 January 2020 to 25 May 2022. In addition, the rising prevalence of air-transmitted diseases in countries such as China and India is surging the demand for surgical masks, which is driving market revenue growth during the forecast period.
The market in North America is expected to register a steady revenue growth rate during the forecast period. The demand for surgical masks is rising in this region owing to increasing pollution levels, which create dust allergies and a variety of other respiratory problems as a result of dangerous pollutants being released into the atmosphere. According to data, California is the most polluted state in the U.S. with many having PM2.5 levels far greater than the recommended limit. The U.S faces 60,000 deaths related to air pollution every year. Well-connected healthcare infrastructure and the presence of major companies proving surgical masks such as 3M, DuPont, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and others have resulted in availability of surgical masks at affordable prices. In addition, increasing awareness of appropriate sanitation and rising incidence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region are expected to contribute to market growth in the region.
Europe is expected to register a considerably robust revenue CAGR during the forecast period. Rapid growth rate of the Europe market growth is attributed to the Government’s focus on stopping the spread of diseases such as COVID-19 and other airborne diseases. In addition, the presence of a well-developed healthcare infrastructure, as well as quick technical breakthroughs in surgical procedures, is expected to boost market revenue growth. Furthermore, increasing cases of deaths attributable to air pollution are boosting the adoption of surgical masks in the region. According to a survey, the estimated number of deaths related to air pollution in Europe in 2019 was 370,500. Bad air quality is expected to
Competitive landscape of the global surgical masks market is fairly fragmented with many key players operating on global and regional levels. Key players are engaged in product development and strategic alliances to expand their respective product portfolios and gain a robust footing in the global market. Major companies in the market include The 3M Company, DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Medline Industries, LP, Crosstex International, Inc., Alpha ProTech, Dynarex Corporation, O&M Halyard, Prestige Ameritech, Ansell Ltd., Cardinal Health, and Ambu A/S.
Initiatives taken by market players are driving growth of the market, for instance:
On 28 January 2021, The 3M Company announced that it has increased its annual production rate of N95 surgical masks to 2.5 billion. The 3M Company produced 2 billion surgical masks worldwide in 2020. The company’s ability to expand the production of masks is due to a flexible supply chain and short cycle times.
On 18 November 2020, Medline Industries, Inc. announced the expansion of its North American manufacturing plant to meet the rising demand for face masks due to the recent covid pandemic. In addition, the company began producing level-1 earloop procedure masks in January at its Lithia Springs facility, Georgia,. This was followed by a second production line by 2021. According to Medline, the two production lines will enable the company to produce 36 million face masks per month when fully operational.
Segments Covered in the Report
This report offers historical data and forecasts revenue growth at a global, regional, and country-level and provides analysis of the market trends in each of the sub-segments from 2022 to 2030. For this study, Reports and Data have segmented the surgical masks market based on material type, product type, distribution channel, end-use, and region:
Surgical Masks Market Report Scope
Segments covered By Material Type Outlook, Product Type Outlook, Distribution Channel Outlook, End-use Outlook, Regional Outlook
By Material Type Outlook
By Product Type Outlook
Basic Surgical Mask
Anti-fog Surgical Mask
Fluid/Splash Resistant Surgical Mask
By Distribution Channel Outlook
By End-use Outlook
Hospitals & Clinics
Industrial & Institutional
Middle East & Africa
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