Do fingerprints have an expiration date? Do they disappear over time?

Do fingerprints have an expiration date? Do they disappear over time?

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answers (2)

Answer 1
May, 2021

Yes, they have! The timing is individual and depends on many factors: the light-receiving surface, what kind of contact, weather conditions, hands are dry or excessively wet, etc.

The trace of the nail phalanx or the palmar surface of the hand is a fatty substance given to the light-receiving surface.

Under room conditions, a trace is detected and detected for up to a month (a case from practice) without the use of special chemical and modern methods of detection.

Under aggressive conditions, bright sun or severe frost, traces are extremely exposed, sweat evaporates, fat residues are removed from the surface. The trail cannot be found after 24 hours!

You can read about the dangers of the fingerprint scanner on your phone in the article.

Best regards,

Your forensic expert

Alexander Strizhakov

Answer 2
May, 2021

Yes and no, no matter how strange it sounds.

Fingerprints are small residues of sebaceous and fatty secretions from the palm (it sounds disgusting, but it happens to everyone's hands, around the clock). After this trace has remained on any object, first all moisture evaporates from the print, and then, let's say, the dried material begins to fall off. Depending on humidity, temperature, wind and similar factors, this process can take from 2 to 5 days. But!

The possibilities of modern forensics can sometimes amaze. So, in places with optimal conditions, some residues of prints can be stored for quite a long time, but they may not be very distinct, thin, interrupted in places, and so on. Therefore, for some recovery, different equipment is used:

The most ancient and widespread method is iodine vapor. They can bring back life to prints left from 7 days to 3 months .

Laser fluorescent devices can detect and sharpen prints up to 30 days .

And a relatively new technology that is rarely used due to its cost - vacuum metal vapor deposition. The object with the print is placed in a vacuum container, after which metals are sprayed into it, which eventually settle on the object and on the remnants of the print. With this method, it is possible to identify prints that are several years old !

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