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Face coverings and mask to minimise droplet dispersion and aerosolisation: a video case study
  1. Prateek Bahl1,
  2. Shovon Bhattacharjee2,
  3. Charitha de Silva1,
  4. Abrar Ahmad Chughtai3,
  5. Con Doolan1,
  6. C Raina MacIntyre2
  1. 1 School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. 2 Biosecurity Program, Kirby Institute, UNSW, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. 3 School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Mr Prateek Bahl, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia; prateek.bahl{at}; Professor C Raina MacIntyre, Biosecurity Program, The Kirby Institute, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia; rainam{at}

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To evaluate the effectiveness of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended one- and two-layer cloth face covering against a three-ply surgical mask, we challenged the cloth covering against speaking, coughing and sneezing. The one-layer covering was made using ‘quick cut T-shirt face covering (no-sew method)’ and the two-layer covering was prepared using the sew method prescribed by CDC.1 To provide visual evidence of the efficacy of face coverings we used a tailored LED lighting system (GS Vitec MultiLED PT) along with a high-speed camera (nac MEMRECAM HX-7s) to capture the light scattered by droplets and aerosols expelled during speaking, coughing and sneezing while wearing different types of masks (figure 1 and online supplementary video). The video for speaking was captured at …

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  • Contributors The manuscript was written through contributions of all the authors. All authors have approved the final version of the manuscript. PB conceptualised and designed the study, designed and conducted the experiments, analysed the data and drafted the manuscript. SB conducted the experiments and drafted the manuscript. CdS designed and supervised the experiments and revised the manuscript. AAC revised the manuscript. CD conceptualized and designed the study and revised the manuscript. CRM conceptualised and designed the study and revised the manuscript.

  • Funding This research was supported by NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence (Grant Number 1107393), Integrated Systems for Epidemic Response. CRM is supported by a NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship, grant number 1 137 582.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information