Volume 36, Issue 2 (March 1991)
A Simple Histochemical Technique for the Identification of Gunshot Residue
Alizarin red S (ARS) is a commonly used organic dye useful in the histologic identification of calcium deposits. ARS also forms colored reaction products with other metal ions, including barium and lead, which are present in primer residue. In histochemical studies. ARS is shown to identify primer residues from several manufacturers as well as primer residue deposited in tissue, either experimentally or in close-range gunshot wounds. This can be easily accomplished with routine histologic techniques. ARS does not stain gunpowder residue, tattoo pigment, melanin, graphite, india ink, or anthracotic pigment.