Masking identity : the use of corrosive and caustic agents on bone and dentition
With the evolution of forensic technology, methods for positive identification are vast and accurate. These methods allow for a corpse to be identified at almost any point of decomposition. The new technology and new methodology has led to a more creative and resourceful criminal. Although few cases have been documented where chemicals are the mode of disposal, this method provides a seemingly fool proof and effective approach to disposal. Several household chemicals contain harmful agents that when used may result in the masking of identity. The purpose of this study is to indicate which chemicals can be used in order to erode or dissolve the tissues making up the dentition and bone. Four chemicals, potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) and sulfuric acid were chosen and tested on teeth and bone. The dentition and bone were exposed for a period of eight hours. Measurements including mass and caliper measurements were obtained at two-hour intervals. Of the common chemicals tested, muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) was the most effective for destroying the tissues.
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Dupras, Tosha L.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Lang, Joy, "Masking identity : the use of corrosive and caustic agents on bone and dentition" (2002). HIM 1990-2015. 242.