A pilot study of a new fingerprint powder application method for the reduction of health risk

  • Kim, Eun-Ji (Department of Scientific Criminal Investigation, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Lee, Da-Eun (Department of Scientific Criminal Investigation, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Park, Suk-Won (Crime and Scientific investigation Team, Daejeon Metropolitan Police Agency) ;
  • Seo, Kyung-Suk (Crime and Scientific Investigation Team, Chungnam Provincial Police Agency) ;
  • Choi, Sung-Woon (Graduate School of New Drug Discovery and Development, Chungnam National University)
  • Received : 2019.06.03
  • Accepted : 2019.09.17
  • Published : 2019.10.25


As a traditional method to apply fingerprint powder, brush method ("dusting") can create a risk to the health of crime scene investigators due to the inhalation toxicity of harmful and fine powders. Therefore, as a new method of applying powders, we tried to evaluate the potential of a chamber method for the development of latent fingerprint using fans in a closed chamber with a fixed capacity that can prevent the powders from being blown outside and exposed to the users, by comparing with the development results of the conventional brush method. Fingerprints on glass and plastic (PET) were extracted with black powder and green fluorescent powder, and the sharpness and minutiae of the developed fingerprints were compared for each method. The results of the black powder showed similar results, but the effect of the chamber method was slightly decreased when the green fluorescent powder was used. In order to improve the development with the green fluorescent powder, the mixture (50 : 50) of the fluorescent powder with the silica gel was tested and the results were similar to those of the brush method. It is expected that the chamber method has a high potential as a new powder application method considering the health of the crime scene investigator after fine tuning of development conditions with additional studies.


powder application method;hazards of fingerprint powder;chamber method;brush method


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