Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Forensic sciences, Gas chromatography--Forensic applications


Forensic Science and Technology


The question of whether deposits on clothing as well as their chemical composition are being mistaken for ignitable fluids is a concern for forensic analysts. Body products and oil secretions can have similar chemical profiles to ignitable liquid residues (ILRs) as a result of comparable chemical compounds that may be found in both sources. This study investigated whether substrates of unworn and worn clothing, with endogenous body secretions and body products could interfere with ILR analysis. Sample extraction was completed by passive headspace concentration with activated charcoal strips (ACS) and desorption with carbon disulfide followed by analysis with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS). Results showed that some body products produce similar patterns to heavy petroleum distillates and most clothing contained components that are commonly found in ignitable liquids. It was concluded that the clothing, body products and compounds released by the body all contribute to the GC–MS profile of worn clothing. These components can mimic or mask the presence of ILRs, however educated and experienced analysts would likely be able to differentiate these substrate patterns from ILRs.


This is the authors' accepted version of the article published in the March 2019 Forensic Chemistry. The published version, published electronically Nov. 2018, can be found at .



Publisher Citation

Guerrera, G., Chen, E., Powers, R., & Kammrath, B. W. (2018). The Potential Interference of Body Products and Substrates to the Identification of Ignitable Liquid Residues on Worn Clothing. Forensic Chemistry, 12:46-57.