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Aerosol Generation by Cough -FY06

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.
Current Information can be found at: Aerosol Generation by Cough - FY07


  • The objective this project is to characterize the size and quantity of aerosol produced during human coughs, and to measure how well surgical masks and N95 respirators block the dissemination of cough-generated aerosols
Cough Generation testing device diagram

Applicable Standards

  • Modified Greene-Vesley BFE test
  • ASTM F2101-01

Key Partners

  • West Virginia University-numerical modeling of aerosol generation by cough, field study of cough aerosol generation


  • Health care workers, emergency responders

Project Scope

  • For FY06, this project has focused primarily on gaining Division and HSRB approval, obtaining OMB clearance, and constructing and testing equipment.


  • Division approval of project proposal
  • HSRB and OMB clearance for human studies
  • Construction of cough aerosol simulator for mask & respirator testing
  • Preliminary tests of masks and respirators
  • Development of CFD model of flow patterns in upper airways during coughing


  • Preliminary results from mask and respirator tests
  • Conference presentation on numerical modeling of aerosol generation by coughing


  • Greater scientific understanding of aerosol generation by cough
  • Better understanding of the effectiveness of different surgical masks and N95 respirators at preventing airborne transmission of infectious diseases
Page last modified: July 23, 2007
Page last reviewed: July 23, 2007 (archived document)
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)