Stable isotope profiling of burnt wooden safety matches

N. Farmer, J. Curran, D. Lucy, N. NicDaeid, W. Meier-Augenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Arson is a significant problem around the world, and is a crime which results in a low number of convictions. The scene of an arson can be varied, commercial, residential or national park, and recently cases have been identified which were initiated by a lit match. Matches can be recovered from a scene, usually in a burnt condition. The benefit of analysing unburnt matches has been researched previously [1,2]. In most cases, burnt matches are recovered from scenes, and therefore the research was extended to investigate the potential of using IRMS to analyse burnt matches. This includes samples which have been exposed to petrol,and various fire extinguishing chemicals. Matches were sectioned to reveal central unburnt portions of wood and analysed by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). The stable isotope profile (SIP) of the wooden matchstick samples was unaffected by the presence of both petrol and a variety of fire extinguisher chemicals. Any changes seen could be attributed to the natural variability of isotopic composition encountered in a natural material such as wood. These findings were confirmed by the isotope analysis of 19 matchstick samples placed in mock fire training scenarios. The data was examined using a paired t-test and Hotellings T-2 test for a single sample. (C) 2009 Forensic Science Society. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
LanguageEnglish
Pages107-113
Number of pages6
JournalScience and Justice
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

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Isotopes
Firesetting Behavior
Safety
Mass Spectrometry
Forensic Sciences
Crime
Ireland
Research

Keywords

  • burnt matches
  • stable isotope profiling

Cite this

Farmer, N., Curran, J., Lucy, D., NicDaeid, N., & Meier-Augenstein, W. (2009). Stable isotope profiling of burnt wooden safety matches. Science and Justice, 49(2), 107-113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2009.03.007
Farmer, N. ; Curran, J. ; Lucy, D. ; NicDaeid, N. ; Meier-Augenstein, W. / Stable isotope profiling of burnt wooden safety matches. In: Science and Justice. 2009 ; Vol. 49, No. 2. pp. 107-113.
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Farmer, N, Curran, J, Lucy, D, NicDaeid, N & Meier-Augenstein, W 2009, 'Stable isotope profiling of burnt wooden safety matches' Science and Justice, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 107-113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2009.03.007

Stable isotope profiling of burnt wooden safety matches. / Farmer, N.; Curran, J.; Lucy, D.; NicDaeid, N.; Meier-Augenstein, W.

In: Science and Justice, Vol. 49, No. 2, 06.2009, p. 107-113.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Farmer N, Curran J, Lucy D, NicDaeid N, Meier-Augenstein W. Stable isotope profiling of burnt wooden safety matches. Science and Justice. 2009 Jun;49(2):107-113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2009.03.007