Stable Isotope Analysis promises to be useful in arson detection. More specifically, to test the connection via stable-isotopic “fingerprints” between accelerant found on potential arsonists, accelerant containers, and at the site of a suspected arson-related fire, we have published two articles on the potential of stable isotopes to trace arsonists. The first is entitled, Putting the Arsonist at the Scene: “DNA” for the Fire Investigator? Gas Chromatography/Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry” (Fire and Arson Investigator, 51 (2):30-34; Reprinted with permission from the Fire and Arson Investigator, January, 2002).

The other article, entitled A Novel Method for Arson Analysis: Gas Chromatography/Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry” examines preliminary experiments that tested the traceability of low molecular weight (gasoline range) hydrocarbons under varying conditions of evaporation and combustion and exposure to experimental debris.

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