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Case studies: evaluation of chemical hazards at a criminal investigation section of a police department.

Authors
Fent-KW
Source
J Occup Environ Hyg 2010 Oct; 7(10):D73-D78
NIOSHTIC No.
20037483
Abstract
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a health hazard evaluation at a municipal police department in response to a request submitted by management concerning chemical exposures encountered by criminalists during criminal investigation procedures. At the time of the evaluation, several methods were used by criminalists for processing criminal evidence. Latent fingerprints were identified using one of three methods: (1) fingerprint powder dusting, (2) ninhydrin solution spraying, and (3) super glue fuming. Latent blood was detected by luminol solution spraying. When fingerprint powder is dusted over evidence or on surfaces at a crime scene, the dust adheres to residual oils that fingers leave behind, thereby revealing ridge patterns, or fingerprints. When sprayed on evidence, ninhydrin reacts with residual amino acids that fingers leave behind to form a deep blue or purple fingerprint. In the super glue "fuming" method, ethyl cyanoacrylate, the main ingredient in super glue, is heated inside a chamber containing evidence. The ethyl cyanoacrylate vapors and atmospheric moisture react with fingerprint residues to form awhite polymer. When luminol solution is sprayed onto latent blood, the iron in the hemoglobin catalyzes the reaction between luminol and other components of the solution (including hydrogen peroxide) to produce chemiluminescence, which refers to the emission of light from a chemical reaction. Our evaluation included observing methods used by criminalists and collecting general area and personal breathing zone (PBZ) air samples for the different chemicals they use. We also compared the pressure differentials in the crime lab with adjacent office areas and measured the airflow and capture efficiencies of the local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems used in the crime lab.
Keywords
Police-officers; Law-enforcement; Law-enforcement-workers; Forensic-medicine; Laboratory-techniques; Laboratory-workers; Laboratory-testing; Air-sampling; Breathing-zone; Exhaust-ventilation; Exposure-assessment; Occupational-exposure; Emergency-responders; Photochemical-reactions; Chemical-analysis; Amino-acids
CODEN
JOEHA2
CAS No.
485-47-2; 141-78-6; 1333-86-4; 521-31-3; 7085-85-0; 497-19-8; 10486-00-7
Publication Date
20101001
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
2011
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
10
ISSN
1545-9624
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Priority Area
Services
Source Name
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
State
OH
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