Monthly Archives: July 2014

Xcaper Smoke Masks and Filter Documentation

Xcaper Air Purifying Respirators

A lot of things have changed since 9/11, not only in terms of terror threats, but our understanding of how difficult it can be to egress buildings in a disaster, especially high rise buildings, and how many people can be lost in the smoke and toxic gases of a fire or disaster.

The Xcaper Smoke Mask was designed to combat smoke inhalation and terrorist threats. It is the only moist direct contact smoke particulate gas and vapor filter available in the world today. It is patented worldwide with information available in 27 languages.

“Xcaper” masks and filters have been purchased by business, banking and financial institutions in New York and around the world. Clients have included such firms as Lehman Brothers, Pfizer, AIG, Fidelity Investments, Neuberger Berman, Dewey LeBoeuf, The New York Mercantile Exchange, Giuliani & Partners, US Trust, Holland America Cruise Lines, Computer Associates, Shell Oil, The American Red Cross of Greater New York, and the New York City Department of Corrections, US Marshalls, as well as many other forward thinking companies and agencies.

Xcaper masks have been approved for use by the US Navy Survivability Office, for use in US Navy and DOD facilities

The Xcaper employs revolutionary new technology that uses hospital grade aloe vera gel extract to trap almost 100% of particulate matter down to 3/10 of one micron. The Xcaper’s all natural moist filtering agent absorbs water soluble or anhydrite gases and smoke particulates common to fires.

The “Xcaper” filters out SMOKE, BIOLOGICAL, CHEMICAL and RADIOLOGICAL particulate. It is effective against Hydrogen Cyanide, Acrolein, Carbon Monoxide, all found in most fires; as well as many industrial gases.

Based on the science, Xcaper Masks will filter but haven’t been tested against.

  • Ammonia  – Yes
  • Cyanogen Chloride  – Yes
  • Formaldehyde – Yes
  • Hydrogen Cyanide – Yes
  • Nitrogen Dioxide – Yes
  • Sulfur Dioxide – Yes

Limited effectiveness against

  • Phosphine – Decent, better at lower concentrations
  • Hydrogen Sulfide – Decent, better at lower concentrations and with our modified gel formula
  • GB (Sarin) – Sarin is soluble in water, the mask would provide some protection, but it’s difficult to estimate how much.

This same technology is currently in use by thousands of professional and volunteer firefighters throughout the USA in the form of “Whiffs”, professional products. Whiffs are used by the San Jose, Newport Beach and San Bernardino fire departments (among many others) to fight the California wild fires.

After 9/11 one of Xcaper’s first corporate clients, Lehman Brothers, hired a consulting firm (James D. Lee & Associates) specializing in WMD/Bioterrorism services, to review and test the “Xcaper” vis a vis the many other products available in the market. Jim recommended the Xcaper and Lehman initially purchased around 30,000 units, one for every employee worldwide. HR at Lehman used to tell us how much their employees loved the Xcaper. They were nervous after 9/11 and were appreciative of the fact that the company valued them enough to go to such lengths to protect them.

In 2005 AIG purchased 90,000 units, again one for every employee worldwide. They began recommending that companies they insure purchase the mask as well with an implication that rates could be affected one way or the other. Around that time, AIG opened an entire new division called “AIG Business Protection” offering such services as “Terrorism Avoidance/Deterrence, Mail Security and Safety, Evacuation Planning and Employee Protective Devices”, one of which is the “Xcaper”.  This division was opened in part due to our mask and the people and information we brought to the table.

Around 2006 Xcaper was introduced to Paul Hashagen and Bruce Newbery, both retired from the FDNY’s Rescue 1 Company, part of the FDNY Special Operations Command.

Paul Hashagen’s reputation within the FDNY is one of the most highly decorated and respected officers ever to wear the uniform. Bruce Newbery isn’t far behind him. Their web site is:, Firefighter Rescue Inc.

Xcaper had previously conducted countless “live fire” tests before bringing the “Xcaper” to market; but Hashagen & Newbery were asked to “live fire” the mask independently and write up the results of their findings. To say they were skeptical is an understatement. They conducted the tests and could not believe the results. They wrote that the “Xcaper” may well “revolutionize public fire safety”.

Both experts asked if they could purchase masks for their families!

Paul has since become a consultant with Xcaper; both Paul and Bruce conduct live fires for Xcaper in Freeport Long Island where they are still active. Both swear by the Xcaper.

The masks have since been reviewed by FDNY’s Research & Development Unit at Ft Totten; by New York City Battalion Chief Andy Richter. Additional independent tests were conducted, Chief Richter later called to say how impressed they were.  Another expert involved, Captain Sacknoff stated that he thought “every civilian on the planet should have an Xcaper”.

Due to the design, these masks don’t require a fit test, they form perfectly to any size or shape of face, with or without facial hair, they are quick and easy to put on, and require no special training to use.

What are your people worth to you?

For pennies a day Xcaper masks can provide unparalleled protection against the widest range of threats to you and your staff, at work, at home or during travel.

Its those who prepare, that survive.

Are you ready?

Contact Unique Fire & Safety Ltd, we can help you prepare.

Click Here for Complete Documentation on Masks and Filters

US Navy Safety and Survivability Office report and assessment

Xcaper Smoke Masks Testing and Results

Physical and Chemical Mechanisms of Xcaper Smoke Filters and masks

Sulfides and Chemicals

Xcaper Expertise R&D

Xcaper filters and masks have been developed by experts


James. D. Lee, P.E. – President, J.D. Lee and Associates

  • Graduate of the U.S Military Academy at West Point
  • Licensed professional chemical engineer
  • Former US Army Officer: Commanded the 9th Infantry Division
  • Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Company
  • West Point Assistant Professor.
  • Corporate anti-terrorism and emergency preparedness consultant


JC Colorado – President, Fire Innovations, Inc. & Firefighter, Petaluma Fire Department

  • 20 years experience as a firefighter and paramedic.
  • Inventor of the “Colorado Harness”

Paul Hashagen – Firefighter, Rescue Company #1, FDNY (retired)

  • 25 year FDNY veteran
  • Decorated for heroism on numerous occasions.
  • Member of the FEMA USAR Rescue Team (New York Task Force 1).
  • Lead instructor at the FDNY Technical Rescue School for ten years

Riley N. Kinman, Ph.D., P.E. – President, RNK Environmental, Inc.

  • Ph.D. in Water Chemistry from the University of Florida
  • Expert in water quality and environmental health and safety
  • Professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Kinman’s firm, RNK Environmental, has performed numerous laboratory tests on the Xcaper smoke filter.

Karim Damji, Ph.D. – President, Loxax Environmental, Inc.

  • Doctorate in Chemistry and Toxicology University of Southern California.
  • Current President of Loxax Environmental, a consulting firm specializing in providing scientific and technical expertise with advanced data management to manufacturing companies, major oil companies, and law involved in toxic tort litigation.
  • Dr. Damji advises Xcaper on new advanced product development.

Forest Fire Smoke Masks

Smoke from Forest fires are filling northern Canadian Emergency rooms with people in respiratory distress.

Those with Asthma, COPD or other health problems are suffering the worst of the effects.

Prolonged exposure to this kind of smoke can cause long term health problems as well as very serious immediate problems for some people, including death.

We have a solution Xcaper smoke filter masks, known as “Survival Gear for your Lungs”

Trusted by professional fire fighters, these new technology masks are far superior to any other filtration mask on the market.
Filtering carbon monoxide, acrolien, hydrogen cyanide, and particulate, these filters also cool the air as you breathe.

If you or someone close to you have respiratory problems, then you need one of these masks.

Two choices, short term or long term.

Civilian Smoke Masks (Short Term Use)

Emergency Smoke MaskOur civilian masks are designed for one time use.
In a smokey city (caused by forest fire) they will last anywhere from 12 hours to 36 hours depending on the smoke density and temperature.

Click here to BUY this mask and smoke goggles




Professional Masks and Filters (Long Term Use)
These are a better choice for anyone anticipating the need for lung protection for more than four days.
Xcaper professional masks are more economical over long term.
With replaceable filters, the daily operating cost is lower.
Click to BUY this mask and 10 Filters 



whiffs Click to Buy the Whiffs Brushpro mask and 10 filters


tacairpro800Click to Buy the TAC-AIR Pro & 10 Filters


Emergency Smoke Mask

Xcaper Smoke Masks – How they Work



The XCAPER™ Smoke Mask works by trapping gaseous and particulate contaminants (often referred to as aerosols by smoke researchers) within a filtering medium similar to the “packed bed” filters commonly used in the chemical processing industry.  Many such so-called mechanical filters, which do not rely on chemically reactive or catalytic components, are in widespread use in hazardous chemical and industrial environments; their efficiencies can approach 100%.  They are often used to purify air by filtering out not only dusts and mists but also organic and acid gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen chloride, and many others.  Many varieties of mechanical filter type purifying masks are available through industrial and laboratory safety supply houses.  Several have been tested and investigated by NIOSH and other organizations for both filtering efficiency and tightness of fit.  Vendors who market such personal respiratory devices through established industrial safety supply outlets publish performance data that suggests that these marks can be very effective filtering devices, indeed, when used within their prescribed limits.

Claims have been made that higher filtering efficiencies can often be achieved with “chemical” filters, those that rely on transformation of harmful contaminants by involving them in a chemical reaction as they pass through the filter medium.  The reaction changes the chemical nature of the contaminant to something harmless (usually a relatively inert solid which remains trapped within the filter).  This type of filter, however, must be chosen for a specific toxic species or a very limited range of species, as the reaction mechanism is tailored to a particular type of substance.

Since smoke from fires is a complex mix of particles, liquid droplets, gases, and sticky agglomerated mixtures of all three, chemically reactive filtering media, regardless of sophistication, cannot be expected to provide sufficient protection for all of the products of combustion which may be a threat to life-safety.  As reactive media fill up with trapped particulates and the residues of reacted products, they become markedly less efficient.  Breathing through them also becomes more difficult as the partially blocked air passageways produce a large pressure drop, which the wearer must overcome by breathing through the filter with more force.  Chemically reactive filters also generate considerable heat through the chemical reaction mechanism, causing the breathable air to become in many cases too hot.  The purported advantages of high capture and retention efficiencies of such filters, therefore, would not be borne out in most real fire situations.

Unlike chemical filters, the Xcaper filter can act effectively on a wide range of substances and actually become more efficient with use, as the trapped contaminates act to further obstruct the path of newly entering contaminants.  The air passageways remain relatively free of obstruction since the filter acts primarily by adsorbing contaminants onto electrochemically active surfaces of otherwise inert filter material.  No additional reaction products are created, and the adsorbed material is effectively removed from further interference with the passing stream. Adsorption continues even with particulate build-up because the micro scale electrochemical activity continues unabated.  The growing quantity of adsorbed material acts only to further slow the passage of the coagulation aerosols, providing more “residence” time for the capture to take place.  The filter, thus, becomes more efficient over time.  Saturation will be approached but only very slowly and, as field tests have shown, the time to saturation is much greater than the time of anticipated use.


The XCAPER™ is a new type of smoke filtering device claiming a very high level of efficiency in filtering out the toxins and particulate products of combustion from common fires.  A professional fire protection device called WHIFFS™ Wildfire Hazardous Inhalation Firefighters Filtration System holds an XCAPER™ filter in a protective NOMEX™ shroud that is worn over the nose and mouth and allows the wearer to breathe normally, maintain a clear line of vision, and keep both hands free.

The XCAPER™ filter has undergone rigorous laboratory testing through an independent laboratory and it has also been informally field tested under a variety of conditions.  Since the filter eliminates a significant percentage of the gas phase products of combustion, a question arises as to how the observed effectiveness of the filter in preventing toxic substance build-up in the body for extended periods of up to 4 hours or more can be explained.  The purpose of this paper is to identify several possible physical and chemical mechanisms by which the filter’s performance may be explained and is the result of extensive discussions with individuals highly educated in fire science.

The functional aspects of the filtering process are complex.  They are dependent on details of the filter’s construction as well as on the physical and environmental conditions of use.  Among the most readily identifiable mechanisms are the following:

(1)  As a rather densely packed collection of small plastic beads in a contained natural gel bath, the filter behaves most fundamentally as a simple physical adsorption device, utilizing a large enclosed volume for “storage” of breath-entrained combustion particulate matter.

(2)  The active thickness of the filter offers substantial interference with the path of smoke particulates drawn in through the normal breathing process.  Given the internal packing structure of fine beads and relatively small void fraction it is clear, even without quantification of the effect, that the mean travel distance (mean path length) of smoke particle from outer to inner surface of the filter would be several times the direct linear thickness of the filter.  As interstitial spaces (between the beads) fill with trapped particulates, mean path lengths would increase far more, delaying arrival of particulates at the inner surface.

(3)  Over the course of active travel of combustion particulates, well known “aging” effects alter both their character and behavior.  This widely observed phenomenon, generally termed coagulation, describes the agglomeration and coalescing behavior of gaseous, liquid, small solid and aerosol products into much larger masses whose number and size vary in a complex manner with both time and ambient temperature.  Coagulation traps large numbers of toxic gas molecules within the clotted mass, the effect being enhanced by longer residence times and cooler temperatures.

(4)  The physical structure of a smoke particulate may be thought of as characterized by a large surface area and a variable surface electric charge resulting from the polar structures of its constituent molecules.  Polar charges of the far smaller molecules of the remaining free gaseous combustion products will eventually cause electrochemical adsorption of the gases onto the surfaces of the particulates.  Due to the very large-scale difference between a gas molecule and even the smallest particulates, it is likely that thousands of gas molecules can adhere to the surface of a single particulate given sufficient residence time for absorption to occur.

(5)  Most common gases, especially those typically found as combustion by-products, are soluble in water and other solvents and natural gels.  Free gases not yet trapped by aerosol formation or by adsorption/coagulation processes are subject to secondary entrapment through dissociation in a solvent gel.

Still other mechanisms may be of importance, particularly as they effect the movement of ionic or surface charged species through the filter.  Among these are electrolytic solution tension effects (i.e., Helmholtz double layer effects), electrophoretic effect, and potential equilibrium altering gas-solvent reactions.  Such “secondary” mechanisms could be considered insignificant, but the exceedingly long reaction residence times characteristic of this type of filter may lead to enhanced effects which would not normally be expected.


In view of the major roles played by such processes as adsorption, aerosol formation and coagulation in typical fire and smoke aging processes, it is likely that these mechanisms, along with the added effects of absorption, interference and solvent-induced dissociation, are also important in accounting for the observed performance of the Xcaper filter.  It is also possible that other mechanisms related to microscale details of the electrochemical environment within the filter can be identified as possible contributors.

Buy Xcaper Smoke Masks & Filters

Forest Fire Smoke Masks

Forest fire smoke is covering large areas of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba & NWT

Forest Fire smoke

Smoke from forest fires can be very unhealthy especially for those with respiratory issues to begin with. Anyone with Asthma, COPD, Elders and Seniors should avoid forest fire smoke as much as possible.

Forest Fire Mask pro   Emergency Smoke Mask

Health Effects of Forest Fire Smoke

Short term exposure can lead to burning of the eyes, lungs, nose and throughout the respiratory system, causing coughing, discomfort, and in some cases even death.Long Term exposure to forest fire smoke, can have extremely detrimental effects on your health. Protect yourself and your family with our one time use Xcaper smoke masks.

Or for more economical longer term use, our Whiffs professional smoke masks are designed for professional wildland firefighters, and use a replaceable filter.

These smoke masks provide protection at a level never seen before in filtration masks. Light weight, easy to breathe through and filled with cooling protective medical grade Aloe Vera Gel that traps the Carbon monoxide, Hydrogen Cyanide, Acrolien and other toxic combustion gases as well as the microscopic particulate that penetrates deep in the lungs and causes serious and sometimes life threatening problems.

These masks are easier to breathe through than a standard N95 dust mask.

Home Fire Safty Purchase a one time use smoke mask

Home Fire Safty Buy a professional forest fire mask, with replaceable filters