International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 170–174 | Cite as

The effectiveness of protective clothing in the reduction of potential DNA contamination of the scene of crime

  • G. N. RuttyEmail author
  • A. Hopwood
  • V. Tucker
Technical Note


The use of ultra-sensitive low copy number (LCN) DNA typing allows the analysis of picogram amounts of DNA. Trace evidence accidentally left at a scene of crime (SOC) by the investigating team may be inadvertently collected and analysed, potentially leading to spurious evidence being introduced into the criminal investigation. A series of experiments were undertaken to determine the extent to which an investigator could contribute to any DNA contamination of a scene of crime under different simulated activities. Further, the degree to which any contamination was reduced by the use of commercially available protective clothing was demonstrated. Precautions that should routinely be taken at a scene of crime to reduce the risk of DNA contamination are recommended.


DNA Contamination Face mask Scene suits Scene of crime 



This work was supported by the CH Milburn and Samuel Strutt British Medical Association Research and Fellowship Award.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Forensic Pathology University of LeicesterLeicester Royal InfirmaryLeicesterUK
  2. 2.Research and DevelopmentThe Forensic Science ServiceSolihullUK

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