News | November 4, 2021

MSA Awarded Federal Contract To Make Elastomeric Respirators In North Carolina

MSA's Advantage® 290 Respirator Provides Healthcare Workers with a U.S. Sourced, Reusable PPE Option

Pittsburgh, PA /PRNewswire/ - MSA Safety Inc. (NYSE: MSA) today announced a $4 million contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to produce elastomeric air-purifying respirators for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The respirators, which can be disinfected and re-used, will be produced by the company's subsidiary MSA LLC at its manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, N.C.

Managed by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the SNS is part of the federal medical response infrastructure and can supplement medical countermeasures needed by states, tribal nations, territories and the largest metropolitan areas during public health emergencies. The supplies, medicines and devices for lifesaving care contained in the stockpile can be used as a short-term, stopgap buffer when the immediate supply of necessary materials may not be available or sufficient.

The MSA respirator to be manufactured for the SNS is the Advantage® 290 Air-Purifying Respirator (APR). Featuring a silicone rubber facepiece, the respirator covers a wearer's nose and mouth and utilizes twin-filters to provide respiratory protection.

Over the past year and a half, MSA LLC has made a number of capital investments in Jacksonville to expand its APR manufacturing capacity and to modernize equipment. These investments, which include the opening of a new 85,000 square-foot warehousing facility, have enhanced overall plant efficiency and will enable the company to easily integrate the added SNS manufacturing work with the company's production of APR products used by industrial customers.

Nish Vartanian, MSA Safety President, Chairman and CEO, said the company is proud to support the federal government's efforts to protect frontline healthcare workers with a reliable and sustainable supply of PPE. He noted the Advantage 290 Respirator and its components are predominantly sourced from a domestic supply chain.

"We have learned much over the past year-and-a-half, and near the top of that list is the criticality of providing our healthcare workers with a reliable and adequate supply of PPE when a pandemic strikes," Mr. Vartanian said. "Throughout our 107 years of business, MSA's mission of protecting people's health and safety has never changed. The work we're doing to support U.S. healthcare workers aligns perfectly with that mission. We're grateful for the opportunity to serve as a partner in nationwide efforts to help protect healthcare workers throughout the country."

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, MSA worked closely with healthcare professionals and gathered feedback that led to a unique feature of the Advantage 290 model. In use, industrial respirators help protect wearers from breathing in outside contaminants by filtering the air through various filter media. These devices traditionally include an exhalation valve through which exhaled air is released. The Advantage 290 Respirator filters both inhaled and exhaled air through the respirator filter media, thereby eliminating the need for an exhalation valve. This modification helps to mitigate the potential for COVID-19 spread by providing personal protection for the healthcare provider while also protecting the patient, in the event a provider is infected.

In November 2020, the MSA respirator became the first half-mask elastomeric respirator with this advanced filtration feature to receive approval from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Given the reusable nature of elastomeric respirators, there are many benefits of having them used in healthcare settings noted Greg Martin, MSA Vice President of Product Strategy and Development.

"Deploying a respiratory protection program that incorporates elastomeric respirators provides a number of benefits, including cost-efficiency, reduced space requirements for PPE warehousing, and environmental sustainability," Mr. Martin said. He added that because of their extended use and reuse capability, elastomeric respirators like the Advantage 290 model can work hand-in-hand with disposable respirators, greatly reducing concerns over supply-chain interruptions and the resulting insecurity associated with PPE shortages during a public health crisis

For general information about elastomeric mask use in healthcare settings, please visit To learn more about the Advantage 290 Respirator, please visit

About MSA Safety
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 2020 revenues of $1.35 billion, MSA employs approximately 5,200 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 .

Source: MSA Safety

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