The Evaluation of Human Hand Odor Volatiles on Various Textiles: A Comparison Between Contact and Noncontact Sampling Methods

Authors

  • Paola A. Prada Ph.D.,

    1. Florida International University, International Forensic Research Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University Park, CP 345, Miami, FL 33199.
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  • Allison M. Curran Ph.D.,

    1. Florida International University, International Forensic Research Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University Park, CP 345, Miami, FL 33199.
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  • Kenneth G. Furton Ph.D.

    1. Florida International University, International Forensic Research Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University Park, CP 345, Miami, FL 33199.
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  • Presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 16–21, 2009, in Denver, CO.

  • Support in the form of a contract was obtained from Technical Support Working Group (TSWG).

Additional information and reprint requests:
Kenneth G. Furton, Ph.D.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Florida International University
University Park Campus, CP 345
Miami, FL 33199
E-mail: furtonk@fiu.edu

Abstract

Abstract:  The focus of this study is to compare contact and noncontact human scent collection procedures across an array of textiles (cotton, rayon, polyester, and wool) to determine an optimized collection method for human scent evidence. Six subjects were sampled in triplicate for each textile and collection mode, and the samples were then analyzed through headspace solid-phase micro-extraction in combination with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS). Contact sampling with cotton material has been shown to be the collection method that yielded the greatest number of volatile compounds and the highest scent mass amounts. Through Spearman rank correlations, it was shown that an individual’s scent profile is more reproducible within samples collected on the same textile type than between different materials. Furthermore, contact sampling with cotton fabric demonstrated the greatest reproducibility producing the lowest amount of type I and type II errors with 90.85% of the samples distinguished at the 0.9 match/no match threshold.

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