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MSA Safety Reports 1st Elastomeric Respirator Without Exhalation Valve Is Approved by NIOSH

November 25, 2020

MSA Safety today reported that its next-generation Advantage 290 LS Air-Purifying Respirator (APR) is the first of its kind — designed without an exhalation valve — to receive approval from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

MSA Safety notes an elastomeric half-mask device, the Advantage 290 LS Respirator covers a wearer’s nose and mouth and utilizes twin filters to provide respiratory protection.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that NIOSH-approved respirators, including elastomeric half-mask respirators (EHMRs), are appropriate for use against SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings.  This established class of respirator can play a critical role in the nation’s response to COVID-19 and, importantly, bolster future readiness for similar microbial viruses and other emergencies.

In response to the global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), MSA has been working throughout the year with healthcare professionals to identify the respiratory protection needs of those on the front line of the pandemic.  Some applications within healthcare require a sterile environment, and one critical component to ensuring a sterile environment is source control. The Advantage 290 Respirator is the first EHMR to function without an exhalation valve, making it a new respiratory protection option that provides both personal protection and source control.  In addition, the new respirator gives healthcare facilities greater optionality and flexibility in developing their respiratory protection programs in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.

“Given the reusable design and nature of elastomeric respirators, there are many benefits of deploying a respiratory protection program that incorporates EHMRs, including cost-efficiency, reduced space requirements for PPE warehousing, and fewer concerns associated with PPE insecurities during a pandemic,” said Greg Martin, MSA Vice President of Product Strategy and Development.

Mr. Martin added that EHMRs also help mitigate concerns about product expiration while conferring additional benefits, like environmental sustainability, through extended use and reuse capability. “With the Advantage 290 model, our team went a step further and developed a respirator that has the potential to be an even more appealing option – today and down the road – for healthcare systems everywhere as they assess plans for the future and their own pandemic preparedness,” he said.

The Advantage 290 Respirator, which will be available for preorder in December 2020, will be produced at MSA Safety’s subsidiary operation in Jacksonville, N.C.

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