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NCJ Number: 250420 Find in a Library
Title: Trace Metal Analysis by Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry and X-Ray K-Edge Densitometry of Forensic Samples
Author(s): Jonna Elizabeth Berry
Corporate Author: Iowa State University
United States of America
Date Published: December 2016
Page Count: 170
Sponsoring Agency: Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50010
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2013-IJ-CX-0012
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Dissertation/Thesis; Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This dissertation describes a variety of studies on the determination of trace elements in samples that have forensic importance.
Abstract: Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was used to determine the trace element composition of numerous lipstick samples. Most lipstick samples of similar colors were readily distinguishable at a 95 percent confidence interval based on trace element composition. Numerous strands of a multi-strand speaker cable were analyzed by LA-ICP-MS. The strands in this study are spatially heterogeneous in trace element composition. In actual forensic applications, the possibility of spatial heterogeneity must be considered, especially in cases where only small samples (e.g., copper wire fragments after an explosion) are available. The effects of many unpredictable variables - such as weather, temperature, and human activity - on the retention of gunshot residue (GSR) around projectile wounds were also assessed with LA-ICP-MS. Skin samples around gunshot and stab wounds and larvae feeding in and around the wounds on decomposing pig carcasses were analyzed for elements consistent with GSR (Sb, Pb, Ba, and Cu). These elements were detected at higher levels in skin and larvae samples around the gunshot wounds compared to the stab wounds for an extended period of time throughout decomposition in both a winter and a summer study. After decomposition, radiographic images of the pig bones containing possible damage from bullets revealed metallic particles embedded within a number of bones. Metallic particles within the bones were analyzed with x-ray, K-edge densitometry and determined to contain lead, indicating that bullet residue can be retained throughout decomposition and detected within bones containing projectile trauma. 1 table, 3 figures, and 23 references
Main Term(s): Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): Gunshot residue; Investigative techniques; Lip prints; Metal detection; NIJ final report; NIJ Resources; Trace evidence
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