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Guidelines for the Identification of Unknown Samples for Laboratories Performing Forensic Analyses for Chemical Terrorism

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 57 Issue: 3 Dated: May 2012 Pages: 636-642
Matthew L. Magnuson Ph.D; R. Duane Satzger Ph.D.; Armando Alcaraz M.S.; Jason Brewer Ph.D.; Dean Fetterolf Ph.D.; Martin Harper Ph.D.; Ronald Hrynchuk M.S.; Mary F. McNally B.S.; Madeline Montgomery B.S.; Eric Nottingham B.S.; James Peterson Ph.D.; Michael Rickenbach Ph.D.; Jimmy L. Seidel Ph.D.; Karen Wolnik B.S.
Date Published
May 2012
7 pages
This article presents guidelines on analyzing unknown samples associated with chemical terrorism.
Since the early 1990s, the FBI Laboratory has sponsored Scientific Working Groups to improve discipline practices and build consensus among the forensic community. The Scientific Working Group on the Forensic Analysis of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism developed guidance, contained in this document, on issues forensic laboratories encounter when accepting and analyzing unknown samples associated with chemical terrorism, including laboratory capabilities and analytical testing plans. In the context of forensic analysis of chemical terrorism, this guidance defines an unknown sample and addresses what constitutes definitive and tentative identification. Laboratory safety, reporting issues, and postreporting considerations are also discussed. Utilization of these guidelines, as part of planning for forensic analysis related to a chemical terrorism incident, may help avoid unfortunate consequences not only to the public but also to the laboratory personnel. Abstract published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons.