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Avon Protection Systems Receives NIOSH Approval for ST53 SCBA System

ST53 system combines Avon's FM53 mask with its ISI developed SCBA system

BALTIMORE, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Offering the latest in modular respiratory protection, Avon Protection Systems - a subsidiary of Avon Rubber p.l.c. - has received NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) approval for its new ST53 SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) system through its Avon-ISI division. The ST53 system combines Avon's tactical FM53 dual port mask with its ST Series SCBA system, allowing users to switch seamlessly between a positive-pressure SCBA and negative-pressure modes.

The system is approved for SCBA use in 30, 45 and 60 minute versions. The system has been tested independently for CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) agents by RDECOM (Research, Development and Engineering Command) to the NIOSH test protocol and exceeds the requirements needed to protect against CBRN chemical agents.

"No other manufacturer has produced a system that's comparable to our ST53 system," said James Wilcox, Homeland Security business development manager for Avon Protection Systems. "Avon's ST53 equipment is the only system that provides users the ability to alternate between different pressure modes using the same mask without needing additional parts or compromising their protection."

Designed specifically for SWAT (special weapons and tactics) and tactical teams, bomb squads and other government agencies operating in dangerous environments, the system is the first fully modular SCBA system designed for the user by the user.

The black stealth design is lightweight, affordable and low maintenance. The system's dual-purpose mask requires users to only be fit tested once for different applications, reducing time and cost. The ST53 respirator's ergonomically designed backframe places the weight on the hips, rather than the back and shoulders, helping to greatly extend the length of time the unit can be worn comfortably.

The short duration escape version (ST53 SD) is also available, providing SCBA protection in a smaller and more affordable package. For additional serviceability and user comfort, the ST-PAPR (powered air purifying respirator) unit is available and provides eight hours of increased protection with modular integration onto all configurations.

The patented VREU (variable resistance exhalation unit) within the FM53 mask provides the technology to deliver the seamless transition between modes. Additionally, the unique conformal filter profile of the FM53 mask provides a closer fitting filter for better user visibility, weapon sightings and unobstructed manoeuvrability.

A fully integrated, detachable and lightweight NBC hood, available in four sizes, is manufactured from the latest material for best protection. Additional optional features, such as a VPU (voice projection unit), external communication interface and four quick-fit performance optical outserts, are also available to best satisfy customers' unique needs.

Avon is working to gain further approvals during 2009 for all system combinations to support Department of Homeland Security grant funding compliances. As a proven leader in the design and manufacturing of industry-leading respiratory protection products, Avon Protection is the sole supplier of the M50 military respirator to the U.S. Government under the U.S. Joint Services General Purpose Mask program.

Avon Rubber p.l.c. is an international polymer engineering group adding value through material, manufacturing and industry sector expertise. Avon supplies a range of advanced CBRN respiratory protection solutions through Avon Protection Systems Inc. to the world's military and police forces, as well as first responders and emergency services. Avon Rubber p.l.c. purchased ISI, which designs, develops and manufactures a range of self-contained breathing apparatus for fire, rescue and law enforcement, as well as military applications, in June 2005. Avon Rubber p.l.c. also owns Avon Engineered Fabrications manufacturing products including hovercraft skirting and flexible storage tanks and a world leading Dairy business manufacturing dairy liners and tubing. For more information, visit

SOURCE Avon Rubber p.l.c.
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