SOLID PHASE MICROEXTRACTION SAMPLING OF FIRE DEBRIS RESIDUES IN THE PRESENCE OF RADIONUCLIDE SURROGATE METALS
Description: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory currently does not have on site facilities for handling radioactive evidentiary materials and there are no established FBI methods or procedures for decontaminating highly radioactive fire debris (FD) evidence while maintaining evidentiary value. One experimental method for the isolation of FD residue from radionuclide metals involves using solid phase microextraction (SPME) fibers to remove the residues of interest. Due to their high affinity for organics, SPME fibers should have little affinity for most (radioactive) metals. The focus of this research was to develop an examination protocol that was applicable to safe work in facilities where high radiation doses are shielded from the workers (as in radioactive shielded cells or ''hot cells''). We also examined the affinity of stable radionuclide surrogate metals (Co, Ir, Re, Ni, Ba, Cs, Nb, Zr and Nd) for sorption by the SPME fibers. This was done under exposure conditions that favor the uptake of FD residues under conditions that will provide little contact between the SPME and the FD material (such as charred carpet or wood that contains commonly-used accelerants). Our results from mass spectrometric analyses indicate that SPME fibers show promise for use in the room temperature head space uptake of organic FD residue (namely, diesel fuel oil, kerosene, gasoline and paint thinner) with subsequent analysis by gas chromatography (GC) with mass spectrometric (MS) detection. No inorganic forms of ignitable fluids were included in this study.
Date: March 23, 2007
Creator: Duff, M; Keisha Martin, K & S Crump, S
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