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Data from: Efficacy of masks and face coverings in controlling aerosol particle emission from expiratory activities

Citation

Asadi, Sima et al. (2020), Data from: Efficacy of masks and face coverings in controlling aerosol particle emission from expiratory activities, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.25338/B87C9V

Abstract

The dataset provided here is associated with the work "Efficacy of masks and face coverings in controlling aerosol particle emission from expiratory activities," by Asadi et al. This includes measurements made of the influence of different types of face coverings (surgical masks, both vented and unvented N95 respirators, and homemade fabric and paper towel masks) on the emission of micron-scale aerosols from various expiratory activities (coughing, breathing, speaking). 

Methods

Participants were asked to perform various expiratory activities (breathing, speaking, coughing, jaw movement) while wearing no mask or a mask or face covering (surgical masks, vented and unvented N95 respirators, homemade paper towel or one or two-layer cotton masks). Study participants performed these activities in front of a funnel connected to an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS), which measured the size-dependent aerosol concentration. Size-dependent concentrations were measured every 1-second during the activities. Additionally, the intensity and duration of the talking and coughing activities were measured using a calibrated microphone. The APS was located in a HEPA-filtered laminar flow hood to reduce background counts to near zero. Further details are provided in the associated manuscript (Asadi et al., to be submitted) or dissertation chapter (Asadi et al., 2020b). There were 11 participants total.

Provided here for each participant/mask type/expiratory activity are two files:

(i) a text (.txt) file containing the tab-delimited exported files from the APS. Particle sizes are in microns; the smallest size includes all particles measured below that size. Particle counts are given for each size every second. 

(ii) a .wav file containing the microphone signals (in volts) recorded during the activity. These files are provided for only the talking and coughing activities. 

All files have the naming structure FX_YYYY_ZZZZ or MX_YYYY_ZZZZ, where X is the participant number (1-11) YYYY is the designator for each mask type (KN95, N95, No = no mask, SLP = single-layer paper towel, Surg = surgical, UDLT = double-layer homemade cloth, SDLT = single-layer homemade cloth), and ZZZZ is the activity (Talk, Jaw, Cough, Breath). 

Files are additionally provided for experiments where the masks were folded and rubbed against themselves to characterize particle shedding. These files have the names Rub_YYYY, where YYYY is again the mask type. 

Data were processed using Matlab. The data are available as a single zip file for download. All personal identifiers have been removed. 

Funding

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, Award: R01 AI110703