Evaluation of mask efficacy to prevent droplets expelled from mouth and nose to environment


  • Chanatda Tungwongjulaniam Division of Communicable Diseases, Department of Disease Control
  • Sombat Thanprasertsuk Department of Disease Control
  • Ratana Theerawat Division of Communicable Diseases, Department of Disease Control
  • Pornthep Chancunapas Bureau of Radiation and Medical Devices, Department of Medical Sciences
  • Aungkana Saejeng Division of Vector Borne Diseases, Department of Disease Control
  • Sansern Tanabodee Independent researcher
  • Wanwipa Tavajintananon Division of Communicable Diseases, Department of Disease Control
  • Khanin Imkhean Division of Occupational and Environmental Diseases, Department of Disease Control
  • Prisana Buasakul Division of AIDS and STIs Diseases, Department of Disease Control
  • Chonnikarn Promsawat Department of Health, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration




medical mask, fibric mask, droplets


The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of different types of face masks in preventing droplets (5 types), in 10 volunteers practicing 9 droplet producing activities. The number of droplets dispersed from each volunteer were measured at 1 and 2 meters from the source. The results revealed that the medical mask and 4 types of cloth masks have different droplet reduction potentials at distance of 1 and 2 meters. The average droplet counts in normal breathing as well as in normal speaking was not detected at 1 meter and 2 meters. The activity that had the greatest median droplet count at 1 meter was coughing loudly (90,920 particle/N/M3) and at 2 meters was vigorous breathing (6,601 particle/N/M3). In summary, when wearing masks, all types of masks can reduce droplets at 1 meter and 2 meters but reduction level are differed by different type of mask. Despite wearing a medical mask or a fabric mask of various types, droplets can still be detected at a distance of 1 meter. Therefore, we recommend social distancing should be practiced at the distance of 2 meters and suitable type of masks should be used in places where practice of distancing is limited for effective prevention of diseases.


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How to Cite

Tungwongjulaniam C, Thanprasertsuk S, Theerawat R, Chancunapas P, Saejeng A, Tanabodee S, Tavajintananon W, Imkhean K, Buasakul P, Promsawat C. Evaluation of mask efficacy to prevent droplets expelled from mouth and nose to environment. Dis Control J [Internet]. 2023 Dec. 29 [cited 2024 Apr. 15];49(4):819-31. Available from: https://he01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/DCJ/article/view/263879



Original Article