Dataset associated with "Aerosol Emissions from Wind Instruments: Effects of Performer Age, Sex, Sound Pressure Level, and Bell Covers"

Volckens, John
Good, Kristen M.
Goble, Dan
Good, Nicholas
Keller, Joshua P.
Keisling, Amy
L'Orange, Christian
Morton, Emily
Phillips, Rebecca
Tanner, Ky
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Aerosol emissions from wind instruments are a suspected route of transmission for airborne infectious diseases, such as SARS-CoV-2. We evaluated aerosol number emissions (from 0.25 – 35.15 m) from 81 volunteer performers of both sexes and varied age (12 to 63 years) while playing wind instruments (bassoon, clarinet, flute, French horn, oboe, piccolo, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, and tuba) or singing. Measured emissions spanned more than two orders of magnitude, ranging in rate from 8 to 1,400 particless-1, with brass instruments, on average, producing 191% (95% CI: 81-367%) more aerosol than woodwinds. Being male was associated with a 70% increase in emissions (vs. female; 95% CI: 9-166%). Each 1 dBA increase in sound pressure level was associated with a 28% increase (95% CI: 10-40%) in emissions from brass instruments; sound pressure level was not associated with woodwind emissions. Age was not a significant predictor of emissions. The use of bell covers reduced aerosol emissions from three brass instruments tested (trombone, tuba, and trumpet), with average reductions ranging from 53 to 73%, but not for the two woodwind instruments tested (oboe and clarinet). Results from this work can facilitate infectious disease risk management for the performing arts.
This dataset describes participant demographics and aerosol emission rates associated with the CSU Bioaerosol in the Performing Arts Study.
School of Music, Theatre and Dance
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences
Rights Access
performing arts
risk management
airborne particles
Associated Publications
Volckens, J., Good, K.M., Goble, D. et al. Aerosol emissions from wind instruments: effects of performer age, sex, sound pressure level, and bell covers. Sci Rep 12, 11303 (2022).