skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 222154 Find in a Library
Title: Stable Isotope Analysis of Human Hair and Nail Samples: The Effects of Storage on Samples
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:53  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:95-99
Author(s): Isla Fraser B.Sc.; Wolfram Meier-Augenstein Ph.D.; Robert M. Kalin Ph.D.
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the effects on stable isotope analysis of human hair and nail samples from being stored in five different types of packaging for 6 weeks and 6 months.
Abstract: Study results indicate that when conducting delta13C, delta2H, and delta18O isotopic analysis of samples, the type of storage container used had little bearing on the results obtained because of the subsequent sample preparation protocol. More pronounced and significant differences were found, however, when analyzing the same samples for delta15N, although there was no consistent isotope shift from 6 weeks to 6 months. The findings suggest that the storage container of choice is a glass vial with a securely crimped lid. Paper, plastic eppendorff tubes, and plastic self-seal bags should be avoided because of the possible presence of additives and plasticizers, which could alter the isotopic signature of the samples. Samples of scalp hair and fingernails from the same subject were placed into each of the following types of packages: plastic self-seal bags, plastic eppendorff tubes, paper envelopes, pieces of tin foil, and crimp-sealed glass vials. The subject whose hair and nails were collected for this study had not traveled or changed his diet during the sampling interval. After completing the two storage periods, all samples were cleaned according to a published standard procedure. 2 figures and 17 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime laboratory management; Evidence preservation; Evidence technicians; Fingernail analysis; Forensic sciences; Hair and fiber analysis
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.