Development Fingerprints: Iodine Fuming

Iodine fumes adhere to grease or oils on porous surfaces and appear as a yellow stain.

Fuming chamber (brown glass bottle) (Fig. 1)

Materials and Chemicals

Processing Procedure

  • Place a spoon of iodine crystals in the fuming chamber.
  • Place the specimen (piece of paper with a fingerprint) to be processed in the fuming chamber.
  • Wait for 5-10 min.
  • Check the specimen and if the fingerprint is visible remove it from the chamber.
  • Latent prints developed with iodine fumes must be photographed immediately.
  • The iodine fuming chamber could be used many times and when iodine is spent just add another amount.

Fig. 1. Fuming chamber

Safety Tips
Be careful when working iodine it can make yellow to brown stains on the skin or clothing.

Observe all federal, state, and local environmental disposal regulations.

Fig. 2. Latent prints developed with iodine fumes