News From NIST: A Safer Way to Test Drug Evidence

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Source: Rich Press, Public Affairs Specialist, NIST

For police and forensic chemists, opening a bag of suspicious powder that might contain fentanyl can be dangerous because of the risk of accidental inhalation. More of the powder becomes airborne than one might think. Scientists at The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated the effectiveness of a different approach. A good preliminary identification can be obtained without opening the package (92% accuracy in this study) by testing residue on the outside of the packaging. This research is the first to quantify the accuracy of this approach. It is also novel in that this study used real casework samples. Click HERE for more information and to watch the “laser visualization” video demonstration.