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An experiment is conducted in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, in September to measure the number of droplets emitted from a person's mouth while singing. | TOYOHASHI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY / VIA KYODO
An experiment is conducted in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, in September to measure the number of droplets emitted from a person’s mouth while singing. | TOYOHASHI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY / VIA KYODO

People release 14 times more respiratory droplets when singing at karaoke while at the same time eating and drinking than in normal conversation, a study by Akiyoshi Iida, a professor at Toyohashi University of Technology, has found.

In the study, the amount of droplets emitted from a person’s mouth was measured by counting the average number of spots per square centimeter that appeared on water-sensitive paper attached to the inside of a mouth shield.

The amount of droplets generated when people sang loudly at 80 to 90 decibels for 15 seconds while eating and drinking was 14 times the amount produced when they talked normally at 60 to 70 decibels for 25 seconds.

When there was no eating or drinking, the number of droplets when singing normally and loudly was four and 11 times more than those counted during normal conversation, respectively. The number when people talked loudly was nine times more than during normal conversation, and when speaking while eating and drinking it was twice as much in normal conversation.

“We hope to use the data for analysis using the Fugaku supercomputer to support the compilation of measures against the novel coronavirus,” Iida said. Fugaku, developed by Japanese government-affiliated research institute Riken and other organizations, has been ranked as the fastest supercomputer in the world.

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