Standardization News

Forensic Training on Paint, Tape Evidence

Two new ASTM International guides could help train forensic analysts to conduct trace evidence examinations on materials rarely seen in criminal investigations.

Diana Wright, chair of the materials (trace) subcommittee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science, says that there was a need for standardized subject matter expertise for analysts – particularly those just entering the field – who collect paint and tape evidence at crime scenes. 

“These guides incorporate best practices for recognizing and analyzing the physical features and chemical characteristics that define the types of paint or tape recovered as trace evidence,” says Wright, an ASTM International member. “The standards also include extensive reference sections to help new trainees recognize relevant technical literature that provides the scientific foundation for conducting these types of examinations.”

The standards were initially developed by a subcommittee in the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science.  ASTM International’s forensic sciences committee (E30) further developed the standards, which will soon be published as E3233 and E3234.

Wright notes that both training guides were designed to help laboratories develop individual training programs for analysts, regardless of level of initial expertise, while allowing flexibility for each lab to adhere to internal quality control mandates as well as those of accrediting bodies.

This effort relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #16 on fostering peace, justice, and strong institutions.

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member of ASTM. The next meeting of ASTM International’s forensic sciences committee is Feb. 15-16 in Anaheim (California, USA).

To purchase standards, contact ASTM International customer relations (tel +1.877.909.ASTM; 

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