Developing and implementing a generally accepted procedure for the dating of ink found on documents using dynamic approaches has been a very formidable undertaking by forensic document examiners. 2-Phenoxyethanol (PE), a common volatile organic compound found in ballpoint inks, has been recognized for over a decade as a solvent that evaporates as ink ages. More recently, investigations have focused on the solvent loss ratio of PE prior to and after heating. To determine how often PE occurs in ink formulations, the authors analyzed 633 ballpoint inks utilizing a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer. 2-Phenoxyethanol was identified in 85% (237/279) and 83% (293/354) of black and blue inks, respectively.
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