Destructive Testing of Material

What is meant by the destructive testing of material and explain why this may be a problem in forensic investigations

  • Destructive testing, such as heating, burning or reacting gram quantities of a material, involves permanent and irreversible chemical changes. However, destructive testing is deemed as inappropriate as samples that are only available to forensic chemists are smaller than a few milligrams. As a consequence, these materials can no longer be used for future analyses if limited amount of material is available.
    -e.g. Marsh test: involves the destruction of samples by acids to detect arsenic poisoning