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Hair Addenda, Trace Evidence Quality Assurance Guidelines (Forensic Science Communications, January 2000)


January 2000 - Volume 2 - Number 1

Trace Evidence Quality Assurance Guidelines (January 1999 Revision)

Hair Addenda
HA2.3.2.3 and HA2.3.3.3

If the following is not available at the graduate or undergraduate level, completion through structured course work is required:

Basic Microscopy and Polarized Light Microscopy

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Hair Addendum

The training period will be a minimum of 12 months, full time, for the inexperienced trainee examiner. The allotted time includes the specifications under sections,, and These sections refer to casework observation, supervised casework, proficiency test(s), examinations, and moot court.

Suggested inclusion topics for the time line follow:

I. Introductory Reading Assignments on Fundamental Knowledge

A. Hair Structure and Ultrastructure

B. Hair Chemistry and Biochemistry

C. Hair Anomalies and Diseases

D. Hair Growth Phases

E. History of Hair Examinations

F. Implications of Hair Structure, Chemistry, and Growth
for Forensic Hair Comparison

II. Evidence Recognition and Handling Techniques

A. Collection of Known/Exemplar Hairs

B. Evaluation of and Practice With Recognition and Collection Techniques for Evidence Hairs

C. Contamination Issues

D. Preservation

E. Recognition of Environmental Effects on Hair

III. Macroscopic and Low-Power Microscopic Evaluation of Hair

A. Color

B. Length

C. Shape

D. Racial and Somatic Origin

E. Texture and Conformation

F. Gross Surface Contaminants

G. Observation of Variation Along Length of Hair

H. Human Versus Animal Hair Features

IV. Microscopic Examination of Hair

A. Preparation Technique

1. Scale Casts

2. Considerations With Mountants

3. Considerations With Slides and Cover Slips

4. Mounting Techniques

5. Considerations With Cross-Sectioning

6. Miscellaneous Techniques

B. Microscopic Techniques

1. Basic Light Microscopy

2. Polarized Light Microscopy

3. Comparison Microscopy

4. Miscellaneous Microscopic Methods

C. Microscopic Characteristics

1. Human and Animal

2. Somatic and Racial

3. Comparison Characteristics

D. Consideration/Evaluation of Acquired Characteristics

1. Dyes and Cosmetics

2. Environmental Contaminants

3. Environmental Damage

4. Insect and Other Types of Damage

V. Evaluation of Hair Features Used in Comparison

A. Practice With Known Hairs

B. Practice Comparing Questioned Hairs to Knowns

C. Practical Testing

D. Competency Testing (Written, Practical, and Oral)

VI. Evaluation of Hairs for DNA Profiling

VII. Documentation

A. Notes

B. Report Writing Including Criteria for Exclusion
and Inclusion

VIII. Evaluation and Interpretation

IX. Testimony

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