The source control effect of personal protection equipment and physical barrier on short-range airborne transmission

Chen Zhang*, Peter V. Nielsen, Li Liu, Emilie Tranegaard Sigmer, Sarah Ghoreishi Mikkelsen, Rasmus L. Jensen


Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

1 Citationer (Scopus)
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In order to control the spread of Covid-19, authorities provide various prevention guidelines and recommendations for health workers and the public. Personal protection equipment (PPE) and physical barrier are the most widely applied prevention measures in practice due to their affordability and ease of implementation. This study aims to investigate the effect of PPE and physical barriers on mitigating the short-range airborne transmission between two people in a ventilated environment. Four types of PPE (surgical mask, two types of face shield, and mouth visor), and two different sizes of the physical barrier were tested in a controlled environment with two life-size breathing thermal manikins. The PPE was worn by the source manikin to test the efficiency of source control. The measurement results revealed that the principles of PPE on preventing short-range droplet and airborne transmission are different. Instead of filtering the fine droplet nuclei, they mainly redirect the virus-laden exhalation jet and avoid the exhaled flow entering the target's inhalation region. Physical barriers can block the spreading of droplet nuclei and create a good micro environment at short distances between persons. However, special attention should be paid to arranging the physical barrier and operating the ventilation system to avoid the stagnant zone where the contaminant accumulates.
TidsskriftBuilding and Environment
Udgave nummerMarch 2022
StatusUdgivet - 1 mar. 2022

Bibliografisk note

© 2022 The Authors.


  • Airborne transmission
  • Building ventilation
  • COVID-19
  • Personal protection equipment (PPE)
  • Physical barrier
  • Prevention measures
  • Respiratory infection
  • Source control


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