The aim of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) is to identify and promote technically sound, consensus-based, fit-for-purpose documentary standards that are based on sound scientific principles. This will be achieved through the OSAC Registry. A standard or guideline that is posted on the Registry demonstrates that the methods it contains have been assessed to be valid by forensic practitioners, academic researchers, measurement scientists, and statisticians through a consensus development process that allows participation and comment from all relevant stakeholders.
Below is a listing of standards or guidelines that are under consideration for the OSAC Registry, along with their status in the approval process.
Standards Open for Public Comment
NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations(link is external), 2017 Edition is now open for public comment.
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NFPA 921-2017 sets the bar for scientific-based investigation and analysis of fire and explosion incidents. Referenced in the field, in training, and in court, it is the foremost guide for rendering accurate opinions as to incident origin, cause, responsibility, and prevention. It is intended for use by both public sector employees who are responsible for fire investigation and private sector professionals who conduct investigations for insurance companies or litigation purposes.
The new 2017 edition includes clarifying language and material based on new research, ensuring that the standard remains up-to-date in the face of evolving fire and explosion hazards.
Submit a Public Comment in Kavi on NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, 2017 Edition. The Public Comment period closes August 17, 2017 at 11:59pm EDT.
Standards in Public Comment Adjudication Phase
Public comment period is closed for the following standards/guidelines as OSAC units review and adjudicate comments received.
This guide may not cover all aspects of training for the topics addressed or for unusual or uncommon examinations.
This test method covers a procedure for the quantitative elemental analysis of the following seventeen elements: lithium (Li), magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), titanium (Ti), manganese (Mn), rubidium (Rb), strontium (Sr), zirconium (Zr), barium (Ba), lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), neodymium (Nd), hafnium (Hf), and lead (Pb) through the use of Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) for the forensic comparison of glass fragments. The potential of these elements to provide the best discrimination among different sources of soda=lime glasses has been published elsewhere. Silicon (Si) is also monitored for use as a normalization standard. Additional elements may be added as needed, for example, tin (Sn) can be used to monitor the orientation of float glass fragments.
ASTM E3085-17 Standard Guide for Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy in Forensic Tape Examinations
Infrared spectroscopy (IR) is a valuable method for the identification and comparison of pressure sensitive tapes. This guide provides basic recommendations and information about infrared spectrometers and accessories, with an emphasis on sampling techniques specific to pressure sensitive tape examinations. The particular method(s) employed by each examiner or laboratory will depend upon available equipment, examiner training, sample suitability, and sample size.
Standards at FSSB for Vote
One objective of a forensic glass examination is to compare glass samples to determine if they can be discriminated using their physical, optical or chemical properties (for example, color, refractive index (RI), density, elemental composition). If the samples are distinguishable in any of these observed and measured properties, it may be concluded that they did not originate from the same source of broken glass. If the samples are indistinguishable in all of these observed and measured properties, the possibility that they originated from the same source of glass cannot be eliminated. The use of an elemental analysis method such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry yields high discrimination among sources of glass. This test method covers a procedure for quantitative determination of the concentrations of magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), iron (Fe), titanium (Ti), manganese (Mn), rubidium (Rb), strontium (Sr), zirconium (Zr), barium (Ba), lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), neodymium (Nd), samarium (Sm), and lead (Pb) in glass samples.
Standards in the Appeals Phase
The public appeals phase is open for the following standard. Appeals may only be submitted by individuals or groups that submitted a comment during the open public comment phase that believe their comment was not properly adjudicated. Submitted appeals must relate to the comment adjudication process, not technical issues.
There are no standards in the Appeals Phase at this time.