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Q: Fingerprints ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Fingerprints
Category: Science > Technology
Asked by: foolish-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 28 Feb 2005 07:56 PST
Expires: 30 Mar 2005 07:56 PST
Question ID: 482258
Can fingerprints be detected on paper?
Subject: Re: Fingerprints
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 28 Feb 2005 08:34 PST
Can fingerprints be detected on paper?
Yes, fingerprints can be detected on paper.

Sources of information

Fingerprints from crime scenes can be identified on papers

?Many police will remark that a certain surface cannot be processed
for fingerprints.  Any surface that is about as smooth as the
miniature corrugated cardboard type ridges on your fingers can
potentially bear identifiable latent fingerprints... and the
flexibility of the finger skin can often also conform to relatively
rough surfaces such as imitation leather dashboards.  Fingerprints
from crime scenes have been identified on papers, cigarettes, fruit,
crumpled aluminum cans, plastic garbage bags, bed sheets, dead bodies
(prints on bodies are usually contaminated prints involving body
fluids, lipstick or some other substance transferred via the suspect's
fingers), and thousands of other surfaces.  Fingerprints on paper,
cardboard and unfinished wood can last for up to forty years (per
actual casework histories) unless exposed to water (and contaminate
transfer prints can even then sometimes persist).  Fingerprints on
non-porous surfaces such as plastic, metal and glass can last for
years if not exposed to water and if left undisturbed.?

Frequently Asked Questions  about Fingerprints
The answers come from several sources, including Certified Latent
Print Examiners at crime labs in America and Fellows of The
Fingerprint Society.


According to Louis Hupp, a supervisory fingerprint specialist at FBI
headquarters in Washington, D.C., fingerprints can be found on paper.

Jurors start seeing evidence  By Paul Queary 
Associated Press Writer


Silver nitrate is probably the oldest known chemical technique for
fingerprint detection on porous surfaces such as paper.

?Silver nitrate reacts with the chloride component of the latent
fingerprint deposit (eccrine secretion) to form light sensitive silver
chloride. On exposure to light, silver chloride, which is white in
colour, is decomposed to silver metal, producing a black image of the
fingerprint. The technique is effective for detecting fresh
fingermarks on most paper surfaces and untreated wood. However, loss
of fingerprint detail tends to be observed with relatively old prints
(> one week) developed with silver nitrate due to the diffusion of
chlorides through the substrate. Another disadvantage with the reagent
is its strong background reaction which results in a darking of the
substrate with time.?

?Ninhydrin is now the most widely used method for developing latent
fingermarks on paper surfaces.?

The Thin Blue Line Web Site


?Ninhydrin produces latent fingerprints on paper surfaces such as
cheques, paper documents, bank notes etc. Simple to use and cost
effective as it does not require any additional light sources for

CSI Equipment Ltd


The following paper discusses methods for developing latent fingerprints on paper.

?Ninhydrin is one of the simplest and a very commonly used reagent for
development of latent fingerprints on documents and porous surfaces of
similar nature. Various methods like spraying, dipping and swabbing
etc. are used to apply ninhydrin to the surface but the background
coloration, ink bleeding and flammability of solvents used are
reported as measure drawbacks of this method. In the present study,
the sandwich method, mentioned in Scott's fingerprint mechanics (1),
deals with the development of latent fingerprints on paper. Various
conditions affecting the development of prints as temperature,
concentration of reagent, type of paper etc. have are discussed.?

Dr. O.P. Jasuja,
Reader in Forensic Science
Department of forensic science

Read the full text here:


Excellent fingerprints can be taken from paper, too, provided it's not too porous.


?Smooth, hard surfaces are the best places to find fingerprints.
Fingerprints aren't normally found on rough surfaces, undressed woods,
grained leather, rusty or cold metal, cloth or any other absorbent or
porous material. As well, surfaces covered with dirt, grease or dust
are also less receptive to fingerprints (unless the grease is thick
enough to hold a fingerprint itself). Glass, aluminum foil, polished
metals, polished woods, plastic bags, china, smooth painted surfaces
and hard plastic surfaces, on the other hand, are very good at
collecting fingerprints. Excellent fingerprints can be taken from
paper, too, provided it's not too porous.?

Edward Willett: Fingerprints


?Be aware that fingerprints can be detected on paper.?$712?y=2004&m=9&d=29


?Anyhow, they said that the fingerprints on the telephone records can
remain intact on paper and other materials for years, so her
fingerprints on the billing records do not necessarily mean that she
saw the records recently.?


Search criteria:
"fingerprints * * on paper

I hope this helps!

Best regards,
Subject: Re: Fingerprints
From: clint34-ga on 28 Feb 2005 11:10 PST
Well, since you have the fingerprints, I sugggest you pull an Enron,
and shred the evidence...

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