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 February 2007
Tech News

Forensic Sciences Committee at Work on Proposed Standards for Seized Drug Analysis

Two proposed new ASTM standards will serve as guides for laboratories around the world in establishing a minimum basis of practice for the validation and sampling of seized drugs. The proposed standards, WK12734, Guide for Sampling Seized Drugs for Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis, and WK12735, Practice for Validation of Seized Drug Analytical Methods, are under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E30.01 on Criminalistics, which is part of ASTM International Committee E30 on Forensic Sciences.

According to Jack Mario, E30 member and supervising seized drug analyst at the crime laboratory of the chief medical examiners office in Suffolk County, New York, the proposed standards are being developed by the Scientific Working Group for Seized-Drug Analysis (, a program sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “SWGDRUG is composed of government laboratarians involved in seized drug analysis from around the globe,” says Mario. “Their mission is to form recommendations for the practice of seized drug analysis.”

Mario also notes that three sets of recommendations from SWGDRUG have already been made into ASTM International standards. These are E 2326, Practice for Education and Training of Seized-Drug Analysts, E 2327, Practice for Quality Assurance of Laboratories Performing Seized Drug Analysis, and E 2329, Practice for Identification of Seized Drugs. Prior to the work of SWGDRUG and Subcommittee E30, there were no international standards for this kind of activity.

In addition to providing guidance for laboratories dealing with seized drugs, the proposed new standards will also be useful as a reference for courts and for the public in reviewing the work of laboratories engaged in seized drug testing. //


Technical Information: Jack Mario, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Suffolk County, N.Y.
Phone: 631/853-5585

ASTM Staff: Timothy Brooke
Phone: 610/832-9729

Upcoming Meeting: Feb. 17-18
In conjunction with the American Advisory of Forensic Sciences
San Antonio, Texas

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