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Estée Lauder converts Melville plant to make hand sanitizer

The Estee Lauder Cos. in Melville is contributing to COVID-19 relief efforts by producing at least one million bottles of hand sanitizer for high-need groups and populations, including front-line medical staff. The company is using their manufacturing facilities in Melville, Belgium and the United Kingdom.  Credit: Estée Lauder Companies

Estée Lauder is using its Melville campus to help create about one million bottles of hand sanitizer to be distributed in New York and around the world.

The cosmetics giant has converted some of its operations in Melville, Belgium and in the United Kingdom. They say it’s the first time the company has mass produced and distributed this type of hand sanitizer.

Estée Lauder is using its Melville campus off Pinelawn Road to create about 20,000 units of hand sanitizer per week, company officials said.

The company is producing hand sanitizer for its own employees, and to give to first responders, high-risk groups and medical staff. Officials are working with New York State to distribute hand sanitizer locally.

“As a company founded upon family values, we’re deeply committed to the communities we serve and dedicated to supporting COVID-19 global relief efforts however possible,” said Gregory Polcer, Estée Lauder executive vice president of global supply chain. “We’re proud to apply our R&D and manufacturing expertise and equipment in Melville to produce hand sanitizer for front-line medical workers and other high-need populations. We’re extremely grateful for our employees who have made this possible while continuing to demonstrate the care and excellence that The Estée Lauder Companies is known for.”

Officials said the cosmetic manufacturing staff, including the formulation and microbiology teams have been working since the end of March to convert the personal product and beauty line into hand sanitizer for about a five-week period. 

The company uses its existing manufacturing equipment to create a broad range of skin care and personal hygiene products to create high-concentrated alcohol hand sanitizer.

The Manhattan-based company, which employs more than 2,500 people in Suffolk County, has about 500 employees currently working at its Melville site.

Estée Lauder’s manufacturing staff resumed work last week  with shifts of between 150 and 200 employees alternating workweek schedules to fill company operations and orders, including hand sanitizer. 

The company is considered an essential service for manufacturing chemicals and personal care products regulated by the FDA.

Company officials said Estée Lauder has been taking precautions such as social distancing measures, barriers between workers on production lines and having any nonessential personnel work from home.

Estée Lauder’s research and development staff is on leave from its office through the end of April, with a limited amount of staff returning May 1 for laboratory work.

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