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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 218661 Find in a Library
Title: Analysis of the Uniqueness and Persistence of Human Scent
Author(s): Allison M. Curran; Scott I. Rabin; Kenneth G. Furton
Date Published: April 2005
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Quantico, VA 22135
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Laboratory Branch
2501 Investigation Parkway
Quantico, VA 22135
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This research examined the use of solid phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry as a method for extracting, separating, and identifying the volatile components of human scent, along with the persistence of human scent in a controlled environment.
Abstract: The method described was found to be an effective and reliable means for extracting, separating, and analyzing human odor. It showed that human scent is a combination of various compounds that differ in ratio from person to person, along with some compounds that are unique to certain people. The preliminary studies show that the compound ratio patterns produced in a person's scent are reproducible over time. Although there was some variation in odor in the same person, the ratio pattern was still distinguishable among people, with significantly greater variation in the ratios of components observed among people tested than that found for one person. In addition to the ratio of common chemicals, the presence of different compounds varied among subjects. There was a relatively long persistence of the human-scent compounds in a controlled environment, with measurable amounts still present nearly 3 months after being deposited on sterile gauze. Two unrelated, 24-year-old males were evaluated in this study. They were required to use fragrance-free soap and to discontinue using deodorants, lotions, and perfumes for 48 hours before sampling, so as to minimize the influence to these odors. There was no attempt to control the diet of the two subjects. Each subject exercised outdoors for 1 hour wearing a tank top in order to eliminate compounds in clothing. Each subject then sampled himself, using a sterile gauze pad to wipe the armpit area, collecting his sweat. Samples were stored in 10 ml vials at room temperature for 24 hours before extraction was conducted by means of solid phase microextraction. 7 tables and 31 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Evidence identification; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques; Suspect identification
Note: From Forensic Science Communications, N 2, V 7, April 2006; downloaded June 4, 2007.
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