Long Island Mask Maker Crosstex Working Overtime To Meet Demand

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Hauppauge-based Crosstex makes in-demand masks.

Crosstex is busy on an ordinary day, but these have been extraordinary times for the Hauppauge-based brand of HuFriedyGroup that manufactures masks.

Little Falls, N.J.-based Cantel Medical owns HuFriedyGroup, its dental arm, which includes the Crosstex brand, systems to maintain and sterilize dental equipment, dental towels, bibs, hand sanitizer, and other products. Crosstex, with operations predominantly on Long Island, has ramped up to about 4 million masks a week, including a smaller operation in Rochester where two more manufacturing lines were added. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted some global supply chains abroad and boosted demand for Crosstex’s masks.

“At the outset of this crisis, we ramped up all of our production,” HuFriedyGroup President Ken Serota says. “We are currently running basically 24 hours, seven days a week in order to keep up with demand.”

That’s up from five days a week and 12 hours a day for the company that supplies distributors, such as Melville-based Henry Schein.

“Our customers are primarily dental offices,” Serota said, noting that Crosstex doesn’t sell directly to consumers. “They [masks] will provide protection from the transmission of aerosolized particles (minuscule particles suspended in the air) consistent with the level masks are indicated.”

Crosstex, founded in 1953, supplies dental products sold in about 100 countries. HenrySchein.com called masks “currently the most sought-after item” and expects “shortages to persist.”

“The increase in demand we’re seeing is in large part because the production of the majority of these is overseas,” Serota says. “Given the onset of the virus in China, the flow of product from China has been cut off to a significant extent.”

Crosstex uses what it calls SecureFit technology designed to make the mask fit and work better.

“That is unique technology,” Serota says. “That’s critically important to get maximum protection.”

He says the company has orders beyond the fall as companies seek to lock in production in advance. 

“Demand for personal protective equipment is crazy high,” Serota says, adding that the company is “100 percent subscribed for our inventory on hand sanitizer.”

“These are trying times for everyone,” Serota says. “We’re committed to doing everything we can to supply the dental industry with PPE (personal protective equipment) products.”

As to masks used to boost security against the virus, Serota says people should heed U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and not expose themselves to greater risk because of the products.

“Common sense is first and foremost,” he adds. “Social distancing. Avoid putting yourself in at-risk areas. Avoid crowds. Those are all critically important.”

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