Sensitivity of the Luminol Test with Blue Denim

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An article appearing in this journal in 2000 suggested that the sensitivity of the luminol test performed on denim fabric is usually no greater than at a 1:100 dilution of blood. This study shows that the luminol test may be unambiguously interpreted at substantially greater dilutions of blood. In this study, four different types of denim were tested by spraying a swatch of fabric with a typical formulation of the luminol reagent. Testing was conducted of dilutions of blood up to 1:1000, all of which showed distinct chemiluminescence. Diluted blood was applied to denim material in the form of a random number. A successful test was obtained only when a “blind” observer, i.e., an observer who was uninformed of the number, correctly reported the number.

Keywords: blood; chemiluminescence; denim substrate; forensic science; luminol sensitivity; presumptive test

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Forensic Science Graduate Group, University of California, Davis, CA.

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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