Locally made, nationally impactful

We forget sometimes, here in the Mid-Ohio Valley, how very important what we do is to the entire country. Local industries mean more than just local jobs. They produce what is needed all over the U.S.

Right now, one the bigger needs is for personal protective equipment and other safety measures for those on the front lines in this pandemic. Those take the kind of specialty polymers produced in Marietta and Belpre by Solvay. In one case, partnering with medical equipment manufacturer Paragon, that plastic is being used to produce reusable intubation shield for healthcare workers.

“The intubation shield became quite popular across the country as this pandemic hit,” said Dr. Tyler Hill, medical director of emergency and urgent care services for Memorial Health System. “Some doctors were putting plastic sheets between themselves and the patient, or erecting a PVC-pipe type of box, but this, by far, is the most sturdy protection. And to have it done by Solvay, somebody local that also has that care and investment in our community is really awesome.”

Developments like this one will be valuable long after we have gotten COVID-19 under control.

“When someone comes in as an overdose and they’re not breathing enough to get oxygen supply to their body we may have to support the airway. Or other cases like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), an underlying respiratory illness where they’re breathing way too hard and they tire out and their ability to breathe stops it can be used,” Hill said.

This is just one recent example. Mid-Ohio Valley manufacturers answer the call — but they also handle some of the every-day heavy lifting much of the country takes for granted. That is something of which we all can be proud.


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