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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98140 Find in a Library
Title: Chemically Enhanced Bloody Fingerprints
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement  Volume:54  Issue:2  Dated:(February 1985)  Pages:22-25
Author(s): J Nutt
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This description of the use of chemicals for enhancing and developing fingerprints that result from coming into contact with blood emphasizes both the procedures used and the hazards of certain chemicals, based on the experience of the Oklahoma City Police Department (Oklahoma).
Abstract: Ortho-tolidine was found to greatly enhance a partial palm print in blood on a plaster wall in one homicide case and on the victim's back in another case. The print obtained in the second case made possible the identification and eventual conviction of a suspect. The forensic experts had spent over 4 hours in a small building while using the chemical. They did not use protective clothing or a breathing apparatus. They subsequently experienced severe headaches, lasting several days, as well as burning sensations on the parts of their bodies in contact with the chemicals. Ortho-tolidine was later found to be carcinogenic and its use was discontinued. In 1983 the use of tetramethylbenzidine was proposed. It was not listed as carcinogenic. Although it has been very effective in blood print enhancement and development, extreme caution should be used. An air canister should be used to spray the chemical. Blood analysis should be done before the spraying, as should photography of all visible ridge characteristics. A well-ventilated area or a vent hood should be used. The use of protective clothing, elimination of flame or spark, and avoidance of spraying live skin tissue are also recommended. Photographs and further safety instructions are supplied.
Index Term(s): Fingerprint image quality; Fingerprints; Hazardous substances or materials; Occupational safety and health; Suspect identification
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