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

ducted from July 2012 to October 2013, was invalid because the concentrations of agents used in testing were less than required by NIOSH test procedures.  As a result, NIOSH announced it will invalidate the CBRN certifications of devices tested within the above time frame and begin a new round of CBRN testing in January of 2014.  In a domino effect, this decision will further delay approvals of SCBA scheduled to be certified as compliant to new NFPA standards adopted in 2013, thereby impacting MSA's launch plans.

MSA had anticipated securing 2013 NFPA certification for its FireHawk M7XT SCBA in the fourth quarter of this year.  However, due to the testing error discovered by NIOSH and taking into account the reprioritization of testing and certification of previously approved respirators, MSA now expects that certification of new SCBA will be delayed until the second quarter of 2014, according to Nish Vartanian, President, MSA North America.  Mr. Vartanian added that the situation will also impact the approval status of MSA's entirely new global platform product.  However, MSA will move forward with plans to showcase that new design at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in April in Indianapolis. 

Mr. Vartanian emphasized that MSA does not have any SCBA units currently in service that are impacted by the invalid CBRN tests.  In fact, MSA is able to manufacture and ship SCBA that are fully compliant with the 2007 edition of NFPA-1981, providing users with the ability to purchase new SCBA units without any compromise to the CBRN requirement.  As such, no recalls or "stop use" notices on MSA's part will be required. 

"Naturally, the CBRN test issue is a disappointing development for the launch and timing of our exciting new product platforms," Mr. Vartanian said.  "We are, however, pleased that MSA's existing units, and those currently in production, are
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