Author Archives: churchc

Conference Alert – 1st International Conference on Food Analysis

21 – 23 November 2016; Melbourne

Where Food Analysis Meets Industry and Regulation

13th Government Food Analysts’ Conference (GFAC)
6th Analytical Conference of the Asia-Pacific Food Analysis Network (APFAN)
25th Conference of Residue Chemists (CRC)
2nd Australian Food Metrology Symposium (AFMS)

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Conference alert – ANZFSS 23rd International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences

18-23 September 2016, Auckland, New Zealand

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The persistence of illicit drug smoke residues and their recovery from common household surfaces

Drug Testing and Analysis 22 June 2016;  DOI: 10.1002/dta.1993

Third-hand smoke is the residue remaining on surfaces during smoking events. It is composed of particles and vapours that form upon heating. The phrase ‘third-hand smoke’ is primarily used to describe nicotine and other chemicals from cigarettes, but any residues formed from the smoking of various substances could be classified similarly. There has been an increasing body of research on third-hand smoke from cigarettes in the last decade, but little has been done in regards to understanding the persistence of particles and vapours from illicit drugs. In this work, small samples of cocaine and methamphetamine were volatilized to produce an illicit drug smoke that was collected onto various surface materials and left exposed to ambient conditions over 672 h (four weeks). Chemical analyses by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry of residues on silicon, plastic, laminate, and artificial leather surfaces indicated a rapid decrease in recovery of the parent molecule, with varied formation of decomposition products over the first 168 h of exposure. Measurable amounts of the parent molecule were still present after 672 h, exhibiting a strong persistence of these drugs on various household materials. This is important in a forensic science context, as third-hand smoke residues could provide a viable source of trace evidence previously not utilized. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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Risk for involvement in road traffic crash during acute cannabis intoxication [Letter]

Addiction ePub 2016

Røgeberg & Elvik have published a critique and re-analysis of previous meta-analyses, as well as an updated meta-analysis of studies that investigated the odds ratio (OR)for involvement in a road trafc crash (RTC) after usingcannabis [1]. They concluded that there was only a moder-ately increased OR of 1.22 or 1.36 for crash involvement during acute cannabis intoxication, depending on themethod for calculation. There are, however, two signicantproblems with the updated meta-analysis: rst, most of thestudies did not investigate the association between RTC andacute cannabis intoxication, but rather the association be-tween RTC and the presence of traces of cannabinoids insamples of blood or urine indicating cannabis use duringthe last hours, days or weeks before sample collection; sec
ondly, some of the included studies did not use the same or equivalent denitions of cannabis exposure among casesand control, creating signicant bias in the calculated ORs.

Fatal accident due to anti-personnel ARGES EM01 rifle grenade explosion.

Chin J Traumatol. 2016 Jun 1;19(3):136-8.

During the process of unsealing an old ammunition box in order to destroy it, a 42-year-old ammunition technician was fatally injured due to an anti-personnel ARGES EM01-type rifle grenade detonation. The explosion took place in the victim’s hands, in point-blank range. This report aimed to show the anatomical position, the severity and the dispersion extent of the multiple injuries in the human body due to the detonation, and draw firm conclusions regarding the position of the human body and the circumstances prevailing at the moment of the explosion.

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Non-fatal strangulation in sexual assault: A study of clinical and assault characteristics highlighting the role of intimate partner violence

Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine   Available online 24 June 2016; doi:10.1016/j.jflm.2016.06.005


To describe the prevalence, risk factors, and signs and symptoms of non-fatal strangulation (NFS) in women referred to a Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC) following recent sexual assault.


A cross-sectional study using data routinely collected at time of forensic examination of women (age ≥ 13 years) referred to the Western Australian SARC between Jan-2009 and Mar-2015 alleging a recent sexual assault. Data on demographics, assault characteristics and forensic findings were available.


A total of 1064 women were included in the study; 79 (7.4%) alleged NFS during the sexual assault. The prevalence of NFS varied significantly by age-group and assailant type. Of women aged 30–39 years 15.1% gave a history of NFS compared to less than 8.2% in all other age groups. Of women assaulted by an intimate partner, 22.5% gave a history of NFS compared to less than 6% of women assaulted by other assailant types. Of all sexual assaults with NFS, intimate partners were the assailant in 58.2% of cases, whereas in sexual assault cases without NFS, intimate partners were the assailant in 15.9% of cases. Odds of NFS were 8.4 times higher in women sexually assaulted by an intimate partner compared to women assaulted by an acquaintance/friend and 4.9 times higher compared to women assaulted by a stranger. When considering both age and assailant type the highest proportion of NFS (33.9%) was in women aged 30–39 years sexually assaulted by an intimate partner. Other factors associated with NFS during sexual assault included deprivation of liberty, verbal threats, being assaulted in the woman’s home and use of additional blunt force. External physical signs of NFS were absent in 49.4% of all NFS sexual assault cases.


This study identifies and quantifies NFS risk factors in female sexual assault and highlights the strong association with intimate partner sexual assault. Greater awareness of NFS in sexual assault should lead to improvement in medical screening, forensic management and safety risk assessment by sexual assault and domestic violence services, emergency departments and police.

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Death Studies – Contents Pages

Table of Contents  | Volume 40 Issue 6 2016

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