How to Prevent the Contamination of Samples in Forensic Science

Written by lissaj
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Preventing the contamination of samples in forensic science is an important factor to master. Whether you are collecting samples for a real investigation, or a training investigation for a class, the integrity of the samples is what can prove guilt or innocence.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Look at the forensic science scene carefully before you even enter it. Take note of visual samples that you can see, and take note of areas where there might also be samples that you haven't seen yet.

  2. 2

    Enter the area where you will be collecting forensic samples. Use your eyes only to tell you what you should collect.

  3. 3

    Wear gloves, face and eye protection, and body protection to avoid contaminating the samples.

  4. 4

    Use a brand-new sterilised tweezer for picking up any hair or fibre samples, and use a new tweezer to collect each individual sample.

  5. 5

    Place the hair or fibre samples into separate sterilised bags. Discard the tweezer you used to collect the sample. Seal the bag immediately.

  6. 6

    Label the bag yourself, as soon as you have placed the hair or fibre inside of it. Include the date, the exact time, the exact location of the sample and your name.

  7. 7

    Use a brand-new, sterilised cotton swab to collect liquid samples. Use a new tip for each sample.

  8. 8

    Place the cotton swab into the liquid sample and make sure you get as much of the liquid onto it as possible.

  9. 9

    Put the entire tip into a collection container. Immediately seal the collection container.

  10. 10

    Label the collection container immediately. Put your name, the date, the time and the exact location onto the label.

  11. 11

    See personally that all collected samples are taken to the lab or testing point.

  12. 12

    Perform tests on each sample individually. Use clean slides, clean containers and clean testing materials for each sample to prevent contamination.

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