First Elastomeric Respirator without exhalation valve approved by NIOSH


MSA Safety's Advantage® 290 Respirator Provides COVID Frontline Workers with a Reusable and Alternative PPE Option

PITTSBURGH-- Global safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety Incorporated (NYSE: MSA) today announced that its next-generation Advantage 290 LS Air-Purifying Respirator (APR) is the first of its kind — designed without an exhalation valve — to receive approval from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).   An elastomeric half-mask device, the Advantage 290 LS Respirator covers a wearer's nose and mouth and utilizes twin filters to provide respiratory protection.

MSA Safety's Advantage 290 Respirator is the first EHMR without an exhalation valve to receive approval from NIOSH.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that NIOSH-approved respirators, including elastomeric half-mask respirators (EHMRs), are appropriate for use against SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings.  This established class of respirator can play a critical role in the nation's response to COVID-19 and, importantly, bolster future readiness for similar microbial viruses and other emergencies.

In response to the global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), MSA has been working throughout the year with healthcare professionals to identify the respiratory protection needs of those on the front line of the pandemic.  Some applications within healthcare require a sterile environment, and one critical component to ensuring a sterile environment is source control. The Advantage 290 Respirator is the first EHMR to function without an exhalation valve, making it a new respiratory protection option that provides both personal protection and source control.  In addition, the new respirator gives healthcare facilities greater optionality and flexibility in developing their respiratory protection programs in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.

"Given the reusable design and nature of elastomeric respirators, there are many benefits of deploying a respiratory protection program that incorporates EHMRs, including cost-efficiency, reduced space requirements for PPE warehousing, and fewer concerns associated with PPE insecurities during a pandemic," said Greg Martin, MSA Vice President of Product Strategy and Development.  Mr. Martin added that EHMRs also help mitigate concerns about product expiration while conferring additional benefits, like environmental sustainability, through extended use and reuse capability.  "With the Advantage 290 model, our team went a step further and developed a respirator that has the potential to be an even more appealing option – today and down the road – for healthcare systems everywhere as they assess plans for the future and their own pandemic preparedness," he said.

The Advantage 290 Respirator, which will be available for preorder in December 2020, will be produced at MSA Safety's subsidiary operation in Jacksonville, N.C. 

For general information about elastomeric mask use in healthcare settings, please visit www.MSASafety.com/healthcare.  To learn more about the Advantage 290, please visit www.MSASafety.com/Advantage290.

The specific EHMR models covered under the NIOSH approval are identified by the following NIOSH Approval Numbers: TC-84A-9260, TC-84A-9261, TC-84A-9256 and TC-84A-9257.  The Advantage 290 Respirator is approved for use with either P95 or P100 particulate filters.

About MSA

Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures.  Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations.  The company's comprehensive product line is used by workers around the world in a broad range of markets, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, the construction industry, mining and the military.  MSA's core products include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, portable gas detection instruments, industrial head protection products, firefighter helmets and protective apparel, and fall protection devices.  With 2019 revenues of $1.4 billion, MSA employs approximately 5,000 people worldwide.  The company is headquartered north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., and has manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  With more than 40 international locations, MSA realizes approximately half of its revenue from outside North America.  For more information visit MSA's web site at www.MSASafety.com.

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