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Michael Hannigan
Michael Hannigan, Consultant
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Experience:  25+ Years in the field
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Will finger prints be distorted by gasoline. Such as if someone

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Will finger prints be distorted by gasoline. Such as if someone picks up a gasoline plastic can that has gasoline on it will finger prints stick. Or if the can is picked up by someone who has gasoline on their hands will the finger prints stick?
This will depend to some extent on the surface material, but without the intentional destruction of the fingerprints, it's very unlikely that any solvent alone would prevent latent fingeprint analysis. The reason is that fingerprints are made of a variety of substances, both polar and non-polar. In fact, studies have identified hundreds of compounds in the sweat that would be one possible latent print residue. And there are dozens of methods to develop latent fingerprints using either polar or non-polor solvents, or a combination of both (or no solvents at all).

When classifying latent print residu, it is divided into two basic categories - water soluble and water insoluble. Chemicals like ninhydrin and silver nitrate are effective reagents for visualizing the water soluble portion of the residue (the part that would be resistant to gasoline and other non-polar solvents), and the water insoluble residues are broken down further into large and small molecule (proteins and non-polar lipids). In these cases reagents like physical developer can be used for large molecule and Nile Red with the small. The reason I'm pointing this out is that gasoline, even if it could completely remove or resist the latent residue which it is capable of dissolving, would not be effective on the other types of residue. And this information goes for distortion as well - if one residue was distorted, the others could be developed.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

There is a very good reference on it here:
Latent Print Development

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