A new study by Colorado State University says that men spread more aerosol droplets on average than women, meaning they're more at risk of spreading COVID-19 to others.
Researchers at CSU gathered more than 60 individuals aged 12 to 61 over several months. They asked participants to sing and play instruments in a sterile room so they could track the aerosols that left their mouths and see how they traveled.
The study found that singing created more particles than talking and that lung size made a big difference. Men have bigger lungs and tend to put out more air particles than women. Adults, in general, produced more aerosols than children.
"Children in our study were putting out less aerosols, but again, that's the size of lung capacity," said Dan Goble, the director of the School of Music, Theater and Dance at Colorado State. "The other thing that we found was volume, how loud a person is singing. So, if you're singing louder, you're putting out more."
Researchers couldn't identify what demographic put out more aerosols based on volume, but it does indicate a higher risk of infection.
The study shows why it's so important to wear a mask indoors during a concert or performance arts venue, especially if vaccination is not a requirement to enter.
"It's a personal choice. there's a lot of controversy, I realize, around the country," Goble said. "It's been highly politicized, but science is science. I mean, it is what it is."
Colorado State has a testing facility where they studied the levels of protection by various types of masks. To learn more, click here.