PITTSBURGH, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pittsburgh-based safety equipment manufacturer MSA (NYSE: MSA) is the largest producer of industrial hard hats in North America and other regions of the world. But that dominance hasn't diminished the company's appetite to innovate and find ways to improve a relatively common product worn every day by construction workers, industrial personnel and utility workers, as well as fans at NFL football games.
MSA's iconic V-Gard ® line of hard hats, identified by their unique and raised "V-shaped" crown, has saved countless lives by protecting wearers from falling objects and other cranial hazards. But now workers have the option of using a hard hat that not only helps to protect their head, but protects the environment as well.The new MSA V-Gard GRN (for green) Hard Hat is the first industrial safety product produced from nearly 100 percent renewable resources. Developed and manufactured by MSA in Brazil, the MSA V-Gard GRN Hard Hat is similar to conventional hats in that it's made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). However, unlike traditional hard hats, the HDPE in the MSA V-Gard GRN model is sourced entirely from sugarcane. "By developing a hard hat sourced from sugar, we have reduced the overall carbon footprint that's associated with the entire life-cycle of this particular product, from start to finish," said Eric Beck, MSA's Global Director of Strategic Marketing. Mr. Beck explained that "green" polyethylene is made from sugarcane ethanol, which results in a smaller carbon footprint because, for each ton of the material produced, up to 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide are captured from the atmosphere. Conversely, Mr. Beck noted that one ton of polyethylene sourced from petrochemicals actually emits more than two pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. He added that green polyethylene is 100 percent recyclable, making it suitable for reuse in non-safety products, which further enhances the sustainability benefits of the new hard hat.