Evidence is increasing that asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19 release large quantities of virus laden aerosol droplets. Despite it being apparently obvious that the wearing of face masks by asymptomatic carriers and infected people would reduce air-borne virus loads, this is not universally accepted.

Recent work by researchers in Ireland has clearly shown, in simulated experiments, that mask wearing markedly reduces the release of aerosols.

Image “Talking heads” copyright owner Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork

Image “Talking heads” copyright owner Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork

The Talking Heads image produced by a team of researchers from Blackrock Castle Observatory, CAPPA and CIT has won Science Foundation Ireland’s Research Image of The Year Award 2020. The image was produced by researchers investigating the effectiveness off mask materials at preventing the spread of aerosol droplets. The MASK (Making Aerosol Safety Known) project was funded under SFI’s Covid-19 Rapid Response Funding Call.

This research clearly shows that wearing a masks can make a difference. Using a mask greatly reduces the number of aerosol droplets emitted into the environment, thus potentially reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

 More information on this research and other current research topics can obtained from the Andor Technology Learning Centre .