Tue, Aug 13, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Hong Kongers buy filters from Taiwan against gas

‘HEARTBREAKING’:A Taiwanese wholesaler of 3M air filters has begun retail sales, both to seek profit and to help Hong Kongers prevail in their struggle

By Chien Hui-ju and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Filter cartridges manufactured by 3M are pictured in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chien Hui-ju, Taipei Times

Hong Kongers are buying high-grade air filters from Taiwan to defend themselves against tear gas, an employee of a 3M dealership said yesterday on condition of anonymity.

Since last month, the dealership has seen a surge in demand for high-end cartridge filters, which neutralize the expired tear gas that Hong Kong police reportedly use, the source said.

Normally a wholesaler, the dealership has begun retail sales in response to the exceptional circumstances, motivated partly by profit, but also by a desire to help Hong Kongers, the source said.

“It is heartbreaking to see images of the carnage in Hong Kong on the news,” the source said. “The police are fighting the people they are supposed to protect... I hope Hong Kongers will prevail.”

Many customers visiting the dealership are Hong Kongers who buy in bulk, ordering up to NT$200,000 worth of filters at a time and stowing the items in luggage, while other Hong Kongers place mail orders through Taiwanese intermediaries, the source added.

As a result, many of the most powerful filter cartridges manufactured by the US-based 3M have been out of stock in Taiwan, including models 60921, 60923, 60923, 60925 and 60928, they said, adding that customers could assemble units of equivalent performance by combining the 5N11 filter with the 501 retainer.

A combination of the 2097 filter and the 502 retainer could also stop tear gas, but supplies of the 502 have been depleted, with no resupply expected from the US before November, they said.

The 2097 filter is considered somewhat effective as a stand-alone defense against tear gas, they added.

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