17th July 2018

GC-MS now used by Forensic experts in Mumbai to detect intoxicants and help solve crime

Forensic experts in Mumbai have solved the problem of analyzing old viscera samples for intoxicants by using GC-MS.

Crime Scene Tape

The Directorate of Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL) recently commented on a case they are working on involving the death of a man in Mumbai. In this case there is ambiguity as to whether or not the deceased man had intoxicants, such as drugs or alcohol, in his system immediately prior to his death. Initial tests carried out by the FSL did not indicate intoxicants in the man's system. However,  the tests - carried out on a viscera sample from the man - could not be carried out until two days after his death, due to the time taken to recover the man's body and to send a viscera sample to the lab for testing. This delay means that the results cannot be relied upon to be accurate as intoxicant traces are difficult to detect in older viscera samples.

In order to accurately determine if intoxicants were in the deceased's system prior to his death, the FSL team are using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) which are more successful methods for identifying traces of intoxicants in older viscera samples.

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Once forensic tests have been carried out using GC-MS and HPLC, the FSL will be able to confidently conclude if intoxicants were present in the deceased's system when he died. Now that the FSL are using Chromatographic techniques, such as GC-MS and HPLC, to test viscera samples, it will be possible to more accurately determine causes of death, as information which would have previously been overlooked, such as the presence of intoxicants in older viscera samples, will now be discovered.


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