despp: Chemistry
Forensic Science Laboratory




The chemistry section of the Laboratory analyzes evidence from suspected arson fires, bombings and unknown (non poisonous/non drug) substance cases. The evidence is analyzed by classical wet chemistry thru intricate instrumental analyses. Results obtained are compared to known samples previously tested. Members from the chemistry section have attended classes and workshops in arson analysis, post blast investigations and explosive residue analysis. They also participate in the training of investigators for the collection and preservation of arson and explosive evidence. The laboratory analyzes submissions from 150-200 suspicious fires per year. This evidence originates from state and local fire marshals, fire departments and police departments. Each submission undergoes a three step analysis process: extraction of volatiles, instrumental analysis and interpretation of results. Due to the nature of the materials commonly used in suspicious fires, the debris collected from a suspected arson scene is placed in an airtight can and sealed.

Content Last Modified on 4/24/2012 1:09:58 PM