Arson Investigations

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Chemistry Matters provides state of the art analysis and consulting for detection of ignitable liquid residues (ILRs) for:

Chemistry Matters has provided training for fire investigations groups as well as provided litigation support and testimony for litigious projects in North America.

Arson Investigation Projects

Chemistry Matters provides leading analysis and consulting for your fire investigations. Chemistry Matters project experience includes:

  • How to collect forensics samples and maintain legal chain of custody
  • Proper sampling procedures for routine and unique matrices
  • Enhanced data analysis for identification of ILRs in complex matrices
  • Hydrocarbon fingerprinting expertise
  • Extensive expert witness experience including court room testimony
    and depositions
  • Comprehensive experience in dealing with complex matrices for the
    identification of ILRs

Have a questions about Arson Investigations?

Contact Chemistry Matters

Photos from the Field

What should you know about Ignitable Liquids Residue (ILR) Analysis?

Ignitable liquids residue (ILR) analysis procedures are publicly available and well documented with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard procedures.

Conducting ILR analysis is not difficult; however, it must be conducted with the highest sensitivity and confidence, eliminating the potential for false positives. Chemistry Matters executes chemical analysis of ILRs using very sensitive analytical instrumentation. Our analysis includes multiple redundancies for ILR identification, which exceeds routine ASTM methodologies. This provides results that go beyond simple presence or absence of ILRs.

What precaustions must be taken for legal sampling?

Chemistry Matters specializes in sample collection for chemical analysis as part of litigation matters. When litigation is involved, special sampling precautions are required to ensure samples are:

  • Collected using fully documented and approved techniques
  • Thoroughly documented to prove sample integrity
  • Kept in legal chain of custody throughout the process
  • Preserved properly to prevent degradation

Chemistry Matters helps consult on sampling procedures and design, or can be retained to conduct the sampling for exceptionally sensitive cases.

How does Chemistry Matters conduct forensic analysis on samples?

Chemistry Matters provides the only advanced analysis of organic compounds present in ILRs and matrices from arson investigations.

Using a highly specialized detection technique of two-dimensional gas chromatography, coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (2DGC-TOFMS), Chemistry Matters can offer full fingerprinting of ILRs and identification of all extraneous organic compounds present in arson debris. 2DGC-TOFMS is capable of identifying all organic residues present from the extraction of a fire debris sampling.

The use of 2DGC-TOFMS provides Chemistry Matters with unprecedented identification capabilities that not only helps identify presence or absence of ILRs, but can also be used to identify the source of the ILRs (where it was purchased) if commercial samples are available.

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