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Huntsman Corp. (The Woodlands; www.huntsman.com) has begun producing hand sanitizer at its manufacturing site in McIntosh, Alabama, for distribution to health care facilities in the United States. The move follows the company’s announcement on March 23 that it would begin making hydro alcoholic solution to produce hand sanitizer in Switzerland.
Huntsman will donate free of charge the first 5-ton shipment of hand sanitizer to Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) and the associated medical facilities at the University of Utah to help protect health care workers treating COVID-19 patients. The University of Utah is the home of HCI, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center that was established with a major philanthropic gift by the late Jon M. Huntsman, founder of Huntsman Corporation.
At its Alabama plant, Huntsman typically produces high-performance specialty chemicals used in aerospace and other industries. After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published temporary guidelines permitting Huntsman to produce hand sanitizer at the site, the company quickly mobilized to develop a manufacturing process to produce the sanitizer. Huntsman does not produce isopropyl alcohol (IPA), a key ingredient in hand sanitizers, so turned to LyondellBasell, another major player in the global chemical industry, for supply of that raw material. LyondellBasell agreed to donate the IPA needed to produce the first shipment.
“We are so grateful to Huntsman Corporation and LyondellBasell for making this donation, which will be instrumental in helping to protect the health of our staff at the Huntsman Cancer Institute and at University of Utah Health hospitals and clinics across our state,” said University of Utah President Ruth V. Watkins. “This is an incredible example of how leading companies are stepping up to address vital needs of health providers who are on the front lines of battling the coronavirus pandemic. My deepest appreciation to Huntsman Corporation for its innovation and swift response in meeting this need.”
Peter Huntsman, Chairman, President and CEO of Huntsman Corporation, said, “We thank the FDA for moving swiftly to issue the temporary guidelines that have enabled us to fast-track our production and distribution of much-needed hand sanitizer in the U.S.”
LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel added, “This is a critical time where the public and private sectors can work hand-in-hand to help safeguard our health care workers. We are proud to have played a role in the fight against this pandemic.”
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