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Proceedings Paper

Quality assurance aspects of GSR analysis by SEM/EDX: a report of first-hand experiences
Author(s): Sebastien Charles; Didier Dehan; Nadia Geusens; Bart Nys
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Paper Abstract

Like many forensic science labs, the Belgian National Institute of Forensic Science (NICC) is involved in a Quality Assurance program aiming towards an ISO17025 Accreditation. Since last year, a project is underway in the GSR lab to validate the method used in the analysis of GSR samples acquired from the hands of suspects by SEM/EDX. The project is well underway, and is planned to lead to accreditation for this technique by the start of 2010. The presentation will discuss several aspects of the functioning of the lab that have to be addressed when preparing for this accreditation. Some of these issues and problems are so involved that separate sub-projects were defined in order to provide a manageable solution. The following topics will be treated in detail: definition of the scope of the accreditation, the validation of the SEM/EDX method with respect to : accuracy, precision, reproducibility and robustness, and the documentation of the Chain of Custody (CoC) of the samples and their storage. One specific sub-project that will be discussed is the study of contamination monitoring in different relevant locations of the lab. Finally, as we have recently acquired a new microscope, the technical criteria we used in the acquisition study will be presented with a focus on their relevance in a QA context. We feel this discussion is informative, both for labs that are pursuing a formal accreditation in the future, and those that work already in such a context and are in the process of acquiring new equipment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7378, Scanning Microscopy 2009, 73782I (22 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.827583
Show Author Affiliations
Sebastien Charles, Nationaal Instituut voor Criminalistiek en Criminologie (Belgium)
Didier Dehan, Nationaal Instituut voor Criminalistiek en Criminologie (Belgium)
Nadia Geusens, Nationaal Instituut voor Criminalistiek en Criminologie (Belgium)
Bart Nys, Nationaal Instituut voor Criminalistiek en Criminologie (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7378:
Scanning Microscopy 2009
Michael T. Postek; Michael T. Postek; Michael T. Postek; Dale E. Newbury; Dale E. Newbury; Dale E. Newbury; S. Frank Platek; S. Frank Platek; S. Frank Platek; David C. Joy; David C. Joy; David C. Joy, Editor(s)

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