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Collecting the Perfect Print

Latent Fingerprint Development Methods

In dusting, fingerprint powder brushed onto the surface adheres to the oils of latent prints so they can be viewed and collected for examination. One of the big benefits of dusting for prints is the thought that it can be conducted directly in the field at the crime scene. There are, however, some drawbacks to this method. Dusting for prints can reduce the clarity of fingerprints collected, making it difficult to find a positive match. It’s also essential to make sure equipment used during the dusting process is sterile, so evidence is not contaminated with other DNA. The main downside to fingerprint dusting is, however, that dusts can pose health hazards to technicians. Fingerprint dusting should therefore be performed in a filtered ductless enclosure so technicians are protected.

Latent fingerprint fuming is often conducted in a cyanoacrylate fuming chamber. Unlike many chemical methods, cyanoacrylate fuming can be used on nonporous surfaces. It can also help protect the integrity of latent prints by keeping ridges intact. Fuming chambers ensure the development process is safe, easy and effective.

Air Science® offers a suite of forensic science equipment designed to protect the chain of custody and safely develop latent fingerprints. Learn more about Air Science fingerprint development equipment, the Safedevelop DFO and Ninhydrin Fingerprint Development Chamber, the Safefume Automatic Cyanoacrylate Fuming Chambers, and the Fumechamber.