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Making Use of What's Not Visible in Trace Evidence Examinations

NCJ Number
254790
Date Published
Author(s)
National Institute of Justice
Agencies
NIJ
Publication Type
Article
Annotation
This article describes how, with few exceptions, nanoparticles and sub-visible particles are routinely overlooked by forensic investigators and presents a practical framework that enables the identification and significance of trace evidence particles.
Abstract
Engineered nanoparticles have become ubiquitous in modern society, in everything from sunscreen to beauty products to clothing. NIJ-funded scientists noted that except for gunshot residue analysis, nanoparticles and subvisible particles are routinely overlooked by forensic investigators. This article describes how those researchers developed a framework that would enable forensic laboratories to use existing equipment to identify and interpret the significance of smaller particles in a practical manner. The scientists stated that there “is virtually no published information on the population of subvisible particles present in real-world forensic samples, nor is there data on the prevalence, transfer, and persistence of nanoparticles within a given substrate or environment.”
Date Created: July 5, 2020