Impact of Time, Weathering and Surface Type on Fingerprinting

Tosha Grey


Fingerprinting is a commonly used technique in forensic science. Factors that impact the quality of fingerprints identified at a crime scene include weather conditions, the surface itself, how the fingerprint was left and for how long. This research examines how time and exposure to the elements affect fingerprints on a variety of surfaces. Over a three-month period, different materials were examined, including: glass, three types of plastic, and aluminum. Fingerprints were analyzed to investigate the impact of exposure to cold and outdoor weather conditions. Preliminary results show that the ability to lift high quality fingerprints is affected by temperature and type of material, but no difference was observed over time. Further research will investigate how time and storage conditions impact the quality of fingerprints. Forensic scientists can use this research to choose ideal storage conditions for samples and to make fingerprinting more efficient.


Weather; Fingerprints; Time

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