HomeLab & Science NewsArticlesReduce Operating Expenses while Containing the Mess

Reduce Operating Expenses while Containing the Mess

Kelly WilliamsBy Kelly Williams, Product Manager
On Wednesday, September 19, 2012
In Articles


Dusting evidence with latent print powders for fingerprints is a common forensic method that is frequently used to solve crimes. Fingerprint dusting is an effective, simple technique that can produce a big mess. Fine latent print powders are not just a hygiene issue to the lab but are a health concern to technicians who breathe in the powders.
To contain powders and protect themselves, many end users dust their evidence pieces inside a chemical fume hood. In most cases as a result of the powder mess that is created inside the hood, which then becomes used exclusively as a “fingerprinting hood”. Once powder procedures are used in the fume hood, other types of procedures that normally would be done in the fume hood can no longer be used because it is impossible not to contaminate other samples when latent print powders are all over.     
Furthermore, chemical fume hood use is one of the biggest operation expenses for a lab. Replacing tempered air that is exhausted out of chemical fume hoods results in high-energy consumption. A typical 4' fume hood exhausts air at the rate of 470 cubic feet per minute and costs an average of $8260 per year to run.
When using latent print powders, a ductless filtered enclosure with a downflow design offers many advantages over traditional chemical fume hoods. The ductless downflow enclosures are cleaner, more mobile and have less operating expenses than traditional chemical fume hoods
Ductless downflow enclosures are energy efficient and effective devices for the containment of fingerprint powders. Downflow enclosures utilize catch trays, prefilters and HEPA filters to remove the powders out of the air and return the tempered room air back into the lab. With ductless designs, auxiliary air that chemical fume hoods require to operate efficiently is not needed.
Another benefit to the ductless design is mobility. Downdraft powder enclosures do not require ductwork so they can be moved around the laboratory easily. Installation is simple and inexpensive as opposed to chemical fume hoods where ductwork and a remote blower must be purchased. 
Because the powders are heavier than air and the air is being drawn down, the powders are collected in the catch pan below the perforated worksuface before they can create a mess. 
Protector® Downdraft Powder Stations were designed with valuable input from latent print examiners who use downdraft enclosures and resulted in several exclusive features:
* Open top design gives technician freedom of unrestricted movement and makes dusting large pieces of evidence easy. 
* Stations can be linked side by side to create large continuous worksurfaces. 
* Come with a shelf to hold powders, brushes and supplies.
* Flow-Zone™ Perforations in the stainless steel work surface maximize containment. 
* Catch pan can be easily emptied without the need for tools.
* Available in 2' and 3' widths
Labconco offers a full line of forensic enclosures and equipment as well as ductless enclosures, chemical fume hoods, PCR Enclosures and biosafety cabinets.
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Forensic Group

Forensic Enclosures

Labconco offers a variety of forensic equipment, including Protector Evidence Drying Cabinets, Protector Downdraft Powder Stations and CApture Portable Fuming Systems.

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