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Aerosol Dispersion During Different Phonatory Tasks in Amateur Singers

  • Laila Ava Hermann
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Munich University Hospital (LMU), Munich, Germany
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  • Bogac Tur
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany
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  • Marie Christine Köberlein
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Munich University Hospital (LMU), Munich, Germany
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  • Sophia Gantner
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Munich University Hospital (LMU), Munich, Germany
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  • Caroline Westphalen
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Munich University Hospital (LMU), Munich, Germany
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  • Tobias Benthaus
    Affiliations
    Institute and Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Munich University Hospital (LMU), Munich, Germany
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  • Michael Döllinger
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany
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  • Stefan Kniesburges
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany
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  • Matthias Echternach
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Matthias Echternach, Division of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Munich University Hospital (LMU), Marchioninistr. 15, 81377 Munich, Germany.
    Affiliations
    Division of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Munich University Hospital (LMU), Munich, Germany
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Published:December 26, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2021.11.005

      Summary

      Introduction

      Due to increased aerosol generation during singing, choir rehearsals were widely prohibited in the course of the CoVID-19 pandemic. Most studies on aerosol generation and dispersion focus on professional singers. However, it has not been clarified if these data are also representative for amateur singers.

      Methods

      Nine non-professional singers (four male, five female) were asked to perform five tasks; speaking (T+), singing a text softly (MT-) and loudly (MT+), singing on the vowel [ə] (M+) and singing with a N95 mask (MT+N95). Before performing the tasks, the singers were asked to inhale 0.5 L vapor produced by an e-cigarette consisting of the basic liquid. The spread of the exhaled vapor was recorded in all three dimensions by high-definition cameras and the impulse dispersion was detected as a function of time.

      Results

      Regarding the median dispersion to the front, all tasks showed comparable distances from 0.69 m to 0.82 m at the end of the tasks. However, the maximum aerosol dispersion showed a larger variety among different subjects or tasks, respectively. Especially in the M+ task a maximum distance of 1.96 m to the front was reached by a single subject. Although singing with a N95 mask resulted in a slightly increased median dispersion to the front, the maximum dispersion was decreased from 1.47 m (MT+) to 1.04 m (MT+N95).

      Conclusion

      The maximum dispersion distance to the front of 1.96 m at the end of the M+ task and 1.47 m at the end of the MT+ task showed higher values in comparison to professional singers. Differences in phonation, articulation and mouth opening could lead to greater impulse dispersion. Singing in loud phonation with a N95 mask reduced the maximum impulse dispersion to the front to 1.04 m. Taking all results into consideration, a slightly larger safety distance should be necessary for non-professional singers.

      Key Words

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