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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228533 Find in a Library
Title: Determination of Trace Elemental Concentrations in Document Papers for Forensic Comparison Using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:54  Issue:5  Dated:September 2009  Pages:1163-1170
Author(s): Elizabeth A. McGaw, Ph.D.; David W. Szymanski, Ph.D.; Ruth Waddell Smith, Ph.D.
Date Published: September 2009
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined whether improvements in the consistency of paper manufacturing procedures might have impaired the ability of forensic investigators to distinguish between papers produced from different manufacturers.
Abstract: The study found that trace elemental concentrations were consistent across a single sheet from a manufacturer as well as among the sheets within a single ream of paper (500 sheets per ream) from the same manufacturer; however, there were statistically significant differences in element concentrations among reams from the same manufacturer. Reams from one of the two manufacturers were differentiated based on Al and Ba concentrations, and the reams from the other manufacturer were differentiated based on Mg, Mn, and Sr concentrations. One of the two manufacturers involved in the study had more elements that varied between the reams, but one ream was different from all others and accounted for a large number of the variations. The study concluded that a ream of paper from the same manufacturer could vary from other reams of the manufacturer even when purchased from the same store and at the same time as the other reams tested. Papers from the two manufacturers compared in the study were easily distinguished from one another, with Ba being the most discriminatory element. The Ba concentration in paper from one manufacturer was significantly higher than the concentration in paper from the other manufacturer. Other elements (Sr, Ce, and Nd) also had significant differences. Differences in element concentration were assessed statistically by using two-way ANOVA and Tukey’s honestly significant differences test. Paper digests were analyzed on a Micromass Platform quadrupole inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer. 6 tables, 4 figures, and 32 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Document analysis; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques; Mass spectroscopy; Paper analysis
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