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Development and Evaluation of Radiological Decontamination Procedures for Documents, Document Inks, and Latent Fingermarks on Porous Surfaces

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 55 Issue: 3 Dated: May 2010 Pages: 728-734
Andrew Parkinson, B.Sc.; Michael Colella, M.Sc.; Tegan Evans, B.Sc.
Date Published
May 2010
7 pages
This research investigates the decontamination efficacy of two decontamination techniques (chemical and physical) designed for the removal of radiological material from documents of forensic importance.
Criminal acts such as an attack utilizing a radiological dispersal device (RDD or dirty bomb), the manufacture of such a device, or the illicit trafficking of radioactive materials would warrant a criminal investigation. This could involve the collection, transportation, and analysis of radiologically contaminated trace evidence. But are law enforcement agencies and forensic scientists capable of dealing with this? The impact that the tested decontaminationse procedures have on the development of latent fingermarks and the forensic analysis of the inks on these documents is also studied. It was found that slight changes in the color and chemical composition of a variety of document inks and a destruction of fingermark ridges occurred after chemical decontamination. Physical decontamination had no impact on these parameters. 2 tables, 8 figures, and 12 references (Published Abstract)