Aim: Face masks are an important addition to our arsenal in the fight against COVID-19. The aim of this study is to present a novel method of measuring mask performance which can simultaneously assess both fabric penetration and leakage due to poor fit. Materials & methods: A synthetic aerosol is introduced into the lung of a medical dummy. A conical laser sheet surrounds the face of the dummy where it illuminates the aerosol emitted during a simulated breath. The system is demonstrated with five mask types. Conclusions: The curved laser sheet highlights both penetration through the mask fabric and leakage around the edges of the mask. A large variation in both material penetration and leakage was observed.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; aerosols; coronaviruses; droplets; face coverings; masks.