Forensic Chemistry: Applications and Background

Describes uses of forensic chemistry.

Forensic Chemistry is the process of analyzing matter and substances that may relate to a crime scene investigation. Forensic Chemistry has been around for a lot longer than many people think. It dates back to B.C. and was known to be used by early Egyptians, ancient Greeks, and Romans. These ancient civilizations did not have quite the same technology that we have today, but they did examine deadly poisons such as Hemlock and arsenic found in bodies of victims.

The main purpose of criminal investigations is to connect a person to the crime scene and eventually find out who the guilty criminal is. Throughout the investigating process they search for as many clues, big or small, in which they may be able to connect the guilty suspect to the crime. Through the collecting of this crucial evidence, Forensic scientists can establish a good idea of the events that took place during the crime, and how the crime was committed.

Once the evidence is collected from the scene it is examined by a skillfully trained team of scientists. One of these scientists is a Forensic serologist. Forensic serologist deal with body fluid, such as blood, semen, saliva, sweat, and fecal matter, and are especially capable with blood testing. Even the smallest traces of blood found at a crime scene can be analyzed by a serologist, and since blood never changes due to any occurrences, such as temperature, humidity or atmospheric pressure, it can always be tested. A mixture of Luminol, Oxidizing agent, and alkaline agent is used to find blood samples at a crime scene. When this mixture is placed in contact with the blood it illuminates making the blood glow. This process is also used to discover samples of other body fluids. In cases of rape the same process is used to find the suspects semen on the victims clothing or skin. They can identify a person’s semen because the composition of it varies from person to person.

Another type of scientist is Forensic Pathologist. The Pathologist analyzes the remains of dead bodies in order to find out how and when the victim died through an autopsy. By examining the body they can tell how the victim was killed. By looking at the skin and internal organs they can tell if the victim died from cases such as a drug overdose, or poisoning. Signs of this are cocaine bags found in stomach, circular arm scars, and hand lacerations By looking at the body they can tell if the death was caused by blunt force, or physical trauma, such as fractures, abrasions, lacerations, and embolisms. Also by looking at the body, they can tell if death was caused by an environmental accident, such as drowning, carbon-monoxide poisoning, hypothermia, burns from fire, electrocution, or random gas.

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One Response to “Forensic Chemistry: Applications and Background”
  1. rishabh Says...

    On June 3, 2009 at 3:13 am

    its great. it helped me.

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