Factors Effecting Friction Ridge Transfer Through Gloves Used During Crime Scene Processing




Wasserman, Aliah

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A pillar of the crime scene processing curriculum, Locard’s Exchange Principle states that every place one goes, they take something with them and also leave a trace behind. The ultimate goal of crime scene processing is to collect valuable forensic evidence while minimizing the effects of Locard’s Exchange Principle. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is one of the most common ways the forensic community mitigates the risk of cross-contamination during crime scene processing. Through trial, error, and research, it is known that friction ridge detail can transfer through gloves. The objective of this research is to help the field of crime scene investigation to develop best practices for minimizing scene contamination by way of this transfer. Though the community agrees it is possible to deposit this detail, it is lesser known what practices can intensify that chance, and more importantly – what can prevent it. This research tests two sets of circumstances in an attempt to determine best practices for mitigating friction ridge transfer during crime scene processing. This study determines the effect of hand condition, glove size, and utilization of the double-gloving method on the transfer of friction ridge detail to a glass surface through nitrile examination gloves. The findings were that the condition of the hands prior to donning the glove(s) did not impact this transfer, but that wearing two pairs of gloves significantly reduced the occurrence of friction ridge detail on the deposition surface as compared to one pair of gloves.



Fingerprint transfer, Latent fingerprints, Friction ridge transfer