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Government Testing Error Forces Delay in Planned Launch of New MSA Air Masks
Date:11/27/2013

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Global safety equipment manufacturer MSA (NYSE: MSA) today announced that the company, along with other manufacturers of respirators and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), received notification on November 21 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that errors were made by the government when testing and certifying respirators. As a result, the certifying organization intends to examine their testing procedures and will reevaluate respirators and SCBA that were previously certified by NIOSH, dating back to July, 2012.

NIOSH has confirmed that MSA does not have any respiratory protective devices in use that are impacted by this finding.  As such, no re-evaluation or retesting of MSA products will be required.  However, MSA is impacted in another way.  NIOSH has stated that other manufacturers who do have affected respirators will be given retesting priority.  Ultimately, this means that certification of new products will be further delayed by NIOSH by at least 90 days.  For MSA, this will result in further delays in the expected certification and introduction of MSA's FireHawk® M7XT breathing apparatus as well as the introduction of the company's next generation SCBA platform. 

NFPA Certification Background
To ensure SCBA comply with performance standards adopted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), devices must undergo a series of certification tests conducted or managed by NIOSH.  This includes a test, conducted by the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, to certify an air mask's ability to protect firefighters from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents.  NIOSH has informed respirator manufacturers that CBRN Respirator Approval Testing, con
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