GFAAS Determination of Antimony, Barium, and Lead Levels in Gunshot Residue Swabs: An Application in Forensic Chemistry

Yuksel B., Ozler-Yigiter A., Bora T., Sen N., KAYAALTI Z.

ATOMIC SPECTROSCOPY, vol.37, no.4, pp.164-169, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.46770/as.2016.04.006
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.164-169
  • Police Academy Affiliated: No


A sensitive and simple method has been developed and validated to determine the barium, lead, and antimony levels in gunshot residue (GSR) hand swabs for routine forensic chemistry applications using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS), equipped with Zeeman background correction. The main purpose and the novelty of this paper fundamentally depend on assessment of the lifetime of GSR metals on the hands in terms of length of time after firing. The firearm used for the forensic GSR hand swab study was a Sarsilmaz Kilinc Mega 2000 pistol loaded with MKE 9 mm x 19 parabellum ammunition. The hand swab samples were collected from officers of the Turkish national police and were sampled at five different times after firing (0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 hours, respectively). Prior to analysis, the samples were pretreated by addition of 5 mL of 8% (v/v) nitric acid, then shaken at 200 rpm (rotation per minute) for 30 minutes. Precision and accuracy of the GSR analysis method was validated by using certified reference materials. The recovery and relative standard deviation (RSD%) values obtained for antimony, barium, and lead were 103.21% and 1.27%, 101.36% and 3.24%, and 99.22% and 2.30%, respectively. The method showed linearity in the range of 0-200 mu g/L for antimony and barium, and 0-100 mu g/L for lead. The detection and quantification limits for antimony, barium, and lead were found to be 3.30 mu g/L and 9.90 mu g/L, 11.94 mu g/L and 35.85 mu g/L, 56.22 mu g/L and 168.82 mu g/L, respectively.