Preliminary Evaluation of the Field and Laboratory Emission Cell (FLEC) for Sampling Attribution Signatures from Building Materials
- *Corresponding Author:
- Harvey SD
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Richland, WA 99352, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: June 21, 2012; Accepted date: August 24, 2012; Published date: August 30, 2012
Citation: Harvey SD, He L, Wahl JH (2012) Preliminary Evaluation of the Field and Laboratory Emission Cell (FLEC) for Sampling Attribution Signatures from Building Materials. J Forensic Res 3:164. doi: 10.4172/2157-7145.1000164
Copyright: © 2012 Harvey SD. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Clandestine laboratories [e.g., drug, explosive, or chemical warfare (CW)] can be processed for chemical evidence that identifies the synthetic targets and reaction paths. Further, trace impurities contained in the product constitute a fingerprint that can correlate laboratories, associate distributed product (i.e., a terrorist CW attack) with the production laboratory, or relate various attacks. This phenomenological study evaluates the field and laboratory emission cell (FLEC) for its suitability for sampling volatile attribution signatures. Dissipation of a wide range of attribution signature representatives was studied from a variety of typical building materials using FLEC sampling. Results showed rapid and near complete analyte evaporation from metal, intermediate permanence on Teflon, and strong retention on vinyl tiles. FLEC also proved useful for sampling residues left after dissipation of a sulfur mustard stimulant. In summary, preliminary evaluation of FLEC for forensic attribution applications looks promising. Advantages, practical considerations, and disadvantages of FLEC sampling are discussed.