The Forensic Chemistry Division performs precise examination on the coidentity of industrial products and specialty products and estimation of the country of origin by using chemical composition profiling through isotopes, trace elements and multi-element analysis. The division contributes to scientific investigations by providing a direction to initial investigations with analysis of micro-evidence such as fiber, soil, and paint and performing analysis related to chemical safety accidents, flammable substances, harmful gases, blood alcohol, toner and writing supplies, geology, etc.
Interchange of fibers, paint, and polymers and examination on coidentity
Examination on coidentity and tracking the country of origin of the evidence using stable isotope analysis and trace multi-element analysis
Analysis of blood alcohol concentration in drunk driving, traffic accidents, and death cases
Analysis on acids, alkalis, hazardous chemicals, environmental pollutants, harmful gases
Flammable liquids, organic solvents, ketone bodies, illicit oils
The Forensic Chemistry Division consists of a Micro-Evidence Research Lab, which analyzes micro-evidence, Chemical Composition Profiling Lab, which determines coidentity and the country of origin using the stable isotope ratio and content of trace multi-element, Blood Alcohol Research Lab, which analyzes blood alcohol and metabolites, Hazardous Chemical Research Lab, which examines harmful gases and various chemical agents, and Volatile Substance Research Lab, which analyzes oil and volatile substances in fire cases, etc.
Analysis of coidentity, authenticity, and country of origin using chemical composition profiling
All products have their own characteristics (chemical fingerprint) that is unique to the stable isotope ratio and the contents
of multi-elements and trace elements, depending on the raw materials used and manufacturing environment.
They are used to track the coidentity and manufacturer of industrial products such as paint, tape, clothing, and glass and to examine the
coidentity of the county of origin of specialty products. Chemical composition profiling can also enable to determine the authenticity of
precious metals such as diamonds, gold, and silver, the falsification of documents and art works by analysis of pigment, ink, toner, paper,
and inkpad, theft of agricultural products, and coidentity of soil associated with an abandoned dead body.
Database management and information tracking using chemical composition profiling
The laboratory has established a database of glass, soil, tape, etc. by using chemical composition profiling, which is used for presumption of the type of glass and usage and identification of the country of origin whether ginseng is made in Korea or in China with the stable isotope ratio of each region. In addition, it performs research to obtain various information including gender, propensity, history and occupation by analyzing stable isotopes and trace elements contained in hair, bones, etc., and research to track pollution sources using stable isotope ratio, and actively constructs a database for various industrial products.
Analysis of Micro-evidence, Examination and Research on Coidentity, etc.
The Micro-Evidence Research Lab performs analysis on trace evidence that is very small and is not visible with the naked eye, which is left behind at various incident and accident sites such as murder, robbery, theft, crash, etc. with various analysis equipment. Typically, micro-evidence includes fiber, resin, paint, and foreign matters. Micro-evidence is too small for criminals to recognize and hide and is analyzed by using high-tech equipment such as infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), visible spectrophotometer (MSP), Raman spectrophotometer (Raman), and X-ray diffractometer (XRD) with a microscope (stereoscopic microscope, high magnification microscope, polarizing microscope, etc.). The laboratory makes a decisive contribution to the resolution of cases by analyzing the evidence more precisely and accurately and using the results for reconstruction of the cases.
* Tasks on blood alcohol concentration related to drunk driving and traffic accidents
Analysis on blood alcohol test results is a very important analysis in the forensic chemistry field since the level of judiciary's punishment varies depending on the result value of the test with regard to drunk driving and traffic accidents, which is a very sensitive issue. By developing its own blood sampling kit and obtaining a patent, the laboratory makes sure to prevent problems such as contamination and blood clotting that may occur in the course of transport and storage in advance. Even with periodic control and enlightenment, the number of analyses related to drunk driving is increasing each year. In 2007, the laboratory built a pre-processing automation system for blood alcohol analysis to improve the laboratory environment as well as respond quickly, accurately and actively to the analysis tasks.
Tasks on Hazardous Heavy Metals & Chemical Agents such as Acids and Alkalis, etc.
The Hazardous Chemical Research Lab examines the presence and concentration of heavy metals in water, soil and waste affected by environmental pollution to determine whether or not it is contaminated. It also analyzes the components of chemical agents from biological samples, related to illegal leakage or spraying, suicide/homicide, or poisoning cases including misuse and abuse, etc., and other materials.
Analysis and evaluation of volatile substances in fire accidents
The Volatile Substance Research Lab analyzes flammable materials from fire residue around the ignition source to determine whether it is a case of arson and checks whether fire-related specific materials such as residue of flammable material, carbide or molten mark are attached to clothing, shoes, hands, etc. of a suspected arsonist. In addition, through analysis of the form and composition of the collected evidence, it examines and evaluates spontaneous ignition or ignition conditions as well as the products generated by pyrolysis of polymer materials in the fire residue.
A suspect who was operating a bakery of T company (Pyeongtaek) spread false information via Internet that a rat came out from the bread that the suspect purchased from a neighboring bakery of P company and was accused by the P company due to defamation and obstruction of business. As a result of inspection, the foreign body in the bread was a house rat caught by a rat trap, and the chestnut bread was found to be made with the raw materials of T company that the suspect was operating, not made by P company.
While transporting 31 OLED TVs of S electronics for the “International Household Appliance Exposition" held in Berlin, Germany, two were lost. Analysis was requested to identify if the tape used for the last sealing for the box having contained the lost TVs was made in Korea or in Germany. Based on the value of hydrogen stable isotope ratio, it was concluded that the tape was highly likely to be made in a 3rd country not in Korea or Germany.
After five residents of a village drank soju at Cheongsong-gun Village Hall, two persons fell unconscious and one of them died during transport. While investigating the people involved, A, a resident in the village, committed suicide by taking poison at his barn. The coidentity of the pesticide collected in the village with the one contained in soju was analyzed. The pesticide contained in soju was Samgong methomyl produced in October 2011, which was different from the product stored by the residents of the village, and its stable isotope ratio was similar to that of the pesticide taken by the suspect.
As the price of the monochrome that is a representative work of Lee U Fan named “From dots and from lines” had risen, there was a rumor that paintings suspected as forgeries of his works were being distributed on the market. Thus, analysis was requested to identify whether the paintings randomly submitted from the owners were forgeries. The paints and glue used in the works were different from the works of Lee U Fan, and the works were processed to be seen as old paintings. As a result of analysis, they were identified as forgeries.
강원도 원주시 한의원에서 불임치료목적으로 지은 한약, 한약가루약(일명 반묘가루) 및 한약추출액을 혼합하여 마신 직후 환자가 사망하였으며, 감정결과 위 내용물 및 혈액에서 칸타리 딘(cantharidin)이 검출됨. 칸타리딘은 반묘의 주성분으로 치사량이 10mg이고 과량복용시 복통, 이질, 토혈, 혈뇨, 혈압 저하 등에 이어 사망한다고 알려져 있음