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MSA Increases Production of Air-Purifying Respirators to Help Meet Increased Demand from Japan

PITTSBURGH, March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Global safety equipment manufacturer MSA (NYSE: MSA) said today it has increased production of its air-purifying respirator (APR) line in two U.S. factories in response to greater demand for such products from Japan.  The respirators, which include half-mask and full-facepiece models, are being produced to help protect Japanese cleanup workers and health officials involved with remediation and containment efforts associated with the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.

"Our people at our operations in Japan are monitoring this situation very closely and right now we are responding to their requests for increased shipments of respirators," said William M. Lambert, MSA President and CEO.  "We're also responding to requests for respirators from various MSA channel partners who are working to fill similar orders of their own," he said.  

Mr. Lambert noted that while production of APRs has increased at MSA, he does not anticipate the increase to have a material impact on the company's revenue results.  "In 2010, sales of air-purifying respirators accounted for about 14 percent of total company revenue," he said.  "While we are seeing a short-term increase in demand for respirators, the demand for other safety products in Japan, used under normal circumstances, is reduced as fewer people are working due to multiple infrastructure challenges in the region. "

The types of respirators MSA is producing for MSA Japan are equipped with filter cartridges designed to provide respiratory protection against a broad range of airborne hazards, including radiological particles and vapors.  Production of fully assembled respirators, as well as spare parts in filters, has increased at the company's facilities in Jacksonville, N.C., and Murrysville, Pa.  

Established in 1914, MSA is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people's health and safety.  Many MSA products typically integrate any combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company's comprehensive line of products is used by workers around the world in the fire service, oil, gas and petrochemical industry, homeland security, construction, mining and other industries, as well as the military.  Principal products include self-contained breathing apparatus, gas masks, gas and flame detection instruments, head protection products, ballistic body armor, fall protection devices and thermal imaging cameras. The company also provides a broad range of consumer and contractor safety products through retail channels.  These products are marketed and sold under the MSA Safety Works brand.  MSA has annual sales of approximately $1 billion, manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America, and more than 40 international locations.  Additional information is available on the company's Web site at

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