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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 210781 Find in a Library
Title: Forensic Discrimination of Match Heads by Elemental Analysis with Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometry
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:50  Issue:4  Dated:July 2005  Pages:883-886
Author(s): Masaaki Kasamatsu M.Sc.; Yasuhiro Suzuki Ph.D.; Ritsuko Sugita M.Sc.; Shinichi Suzuki Ph.D.
Date Published: July 2005
Page Count: 4
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Since match sticks are important items of physical evidence in arson and bombing cases, the current study applied inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) to match heads to distinguish match samples by comparing their elemental compositions.
Abstract: This report's description of study materials and methods addresses the apparatus and reagents used, the samples, and the procedure. Thirteen match sets were collected and analyzed in order to determine the discrimination capability by comparing minor and/or trace element concentrations. Six of the samples were commercially available matches, and the others were advertising matches. Since match samples recovered at crime scenes are always burned and control matches seized from suspects are usually unburned, the effect of burning on the results obtained from the multi-elemental analysis of unburned matches was examined. Six elements--magnesium, aluminum, calcium, iron, zinc, and barium--were detected in the match heads after they were dissolved in HNO3; these elements were quantified in eight wood stick matches and five paper stick matches by means of calibration curves prepared from standard sample solutions. This method was able to distinguish all the match sets from one another both before and after combustion. Distinctive quantities of elemental compositions in match sets makes it possible to determine whether burned matches at an arson or bomb crime scene are from the same set as unburned matches found on a suspect. 4 tables, 1 figure, and 13 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Arson investigations; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques; Suspect identification
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