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by admin last modified 2008-04-28 10:40 AM

Pollen on clothing and other materials can be analysed to link people and objects to places and other people.

The main forensic application of pollen analysis is providing associative evidence, i.e. assisting to prove or disprove a link between people and objects with places or with other people. For example, soil on clothing can be analyzed for pollen and compared with control soil samples from the crime scene, or pollen (non-cannabis) in cannabis samples from different people can be used to determine whether or not they have obtained the cannabis from the same source. Other materials include clothing and other fabrics, footwear, twine/rope, air filters, firearms/tools, granulated materials including illicit drugs, unprocessed plant material and processed food and other material such as honey and tobacco, and human and other animal material such as hair, fur and stomach contents. Pollen evidence may also reveal the geographical as well as the local origin of materials, such as determining whether or not illicit drugs material came from overseas.

Forensic pollen analysis is often used by the prosecution. It can be used equally effectively by the defence, either to disprove links alleged by the prosecution or to challenge the prosecution’s palynological evidence.

The following abstracts relate to the use of pollen (and other botanical) analysis in forensic investigations:


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