Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service

Brisbane, Australia

Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service

Brisbane, Australia
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Hughes J.,Queensland University of Technology | Ayoko G.,Queensland University of Technology | Collett S.,Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service | Golding G.,Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

In Australia and increasingly worldwide, methamphetamine is one of the most commonly seized drugs analysed by forensic chemists. The current well-established GC/MS methods used to identify and quantify methamphetamine are lengthy, expensive processes, but often rapid analysis is requested by undercover police leading to an interest in developing this new analytical technique. Ninety six illicit drug seizures containing methamphetamine (0.1%-78.6%) were analysed using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy with an Attenuated Total Reflectance attachment and Chemometrics. Two Partial Least Squares models were developed, one using the principal Infrared Spectroscopy peaks of methamphetamine and the other a Hierarchical Partial Least Squares model. Both of these models were refined to choose the variables that were most closely associated with the methamphetamine % vector. Both of the models were excellent, with the principal peaks in the Partial Least Squares model having Root Mean Square Error of Prediction 3.8, R2 0.9779 and lower limit of quantification 7% methamphetamine. The Hierarchical Partial Least Squares model had lower limit of quantification 0.3% methamphetamine, Root Mean Square Error of Prediction 5.2 and R2 0.9637. Such models offer rapid and effective methods for screening illicit drug samples to determine the percentage of methamphetamine they contain. © 2013 Hughes et al.


Wynwood S.J.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Graham G.C.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Weier S.L.,Queensland University of Technology | Collet T.A.,Queensland University of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Pathogens and Global Health | Year: 2014

Leptospirosis outbreaks have been associated with many common water events including water consumption, water sports, environmental disasters, and occupational exposure. The ability of leptospires to survive in moist environments makes them a high-risk agent for infection following contact with any contaminated water source. Water treatment processes reduce the likelihood of leptospirosis or other microbial agents causing infection provided that they do not malfunction and the distribution networks are maintained. Notably, there are many differences in water treatment systems around the world, particularly between developing and developed countries. Detection of leptospirosis in water samples is uncommonly performed by molecular methods. © 2014, Maney Publishing. All rights reserved.


Phung D.T.,Griffith University | Connell D.,Griffith University | Miller G.,Griffith University | Hodge M.,Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service | And 4 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2012

Chlorpyrifos is the most common organophosphate insecticide registered for use in Vietnam and is widely used in agriculture, particularly rice farming. However, chlorpyrifos exposure to and adverse effects on farmers has not been evaluated. In this study, biological monitoring of chlorpyrifos exposure in a group of rice farmers was conducted after a typical application event using back-pack spraying. Urine samples (24h) were collected from the rice farmers before and post insecticide application. Samples were analysed for 3,5,6-trichloropyridinol (TCP), the major urinary metabolite of chlorpyrifos, using an enzymatic pre-treatment before extraction followed by HPLC-MS/MS. Absorbed Daily Dose (ADD) of chlorpyrifos for farmers were then estimated from urinary TCP levels, expressed as μgg -1creatinine. The analytical method for urinary TCP had a low detection limit (0.6μgL -1), acceptable recovery values (80-114%), and low relative percentage differences in duplicate and repeated samples. Post-application chlorpyrifos ADD of farmers varied from 0.4 to 94.2μgkg -1(body weight)d -1 with a mean of 19.4μgkg -1d -1 which was approximately 80-fold higher than the mean baseline exposure level (0.24μgkg -1d -1). Hazard Quotients (ratio of the mean ADD for rice farmers to acute oral reference dose) calculated using acute oral reference doses recommended by United States and Australian agencies varied from 2.1 (Australian NRA), 4.2 (US EPA) to 6.9 (ATSDR).Biological monitoring using HPLC-MS/MS analysis of urinary TCP (24. h) was found to be an effective method for measuring chlorpyrifos exposure among farmers. This case study found that Vietnamese rice farmers had relatively high exposures to chlorpyrifos after application, which were likely to have adverse health effects. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Carter J.F.,Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service | Tinggi U.,Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service | Yang X.,Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service | Fry B.,Griffith University
Food Chemistry | Year: 2014

This research has explored the potential of stable isotope and trace metal profiles to distinguish Australian prawns from prawns imported from neighbouring Asian countries. Australian prawns were collected mostly from the Brisbane area. Strong differences in Australian vs. imported prawns were evident from both the isotope and trace element data, with the differences most likely occurring because imported prawns are typically reared in aquaculture facilities and frozen prior to sale in Australia. The aquaculture origins are characterised by comparatively; low δHVSMOW, δ13CVPDBvalues, low concentrations of arsenic, zinc and potassium, and high water contents (>80%). Relatively high arsenic and cadmium contents were found within Australian prawns, but the concentrations did not exceed local human health guidelines. Crown Copyright © 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Carter J.F.,Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service | Fry B.,Griffith University
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2013

A method is described to prepare inexpensive organic reference materials for routine stable isotope work. The method blends isotope-enriched and isotope-depleted materials to match closely international measurement standards. Examples are presented showing how 13C-enriched and 13C-depleted glucose were blended to match the isotopic compositions of the international carbon isotope standards, NBS 19 and L-SVEC. Preparation of the blended standards was straightforward, and the prepared solutions proved easy to dispense into tin capsules and easy to combust in a conventional isotope analysis system. The blended materials allow a laboratory to perform a two-point calibration for isotopic composition on a daily basis, with the use of an international reference material recommended for routine quality assurance. The blending method can be applied widely to make isotope standards for other elements and compounds. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.


Carter J.F.,Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service | Fry B.,Griffith University
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2013

The need for inter-laboratory comparability is crucial to facilitate the globalisation of scientific networks and the development of international databases to support scientific and criminal investigations. This article considers what lessons can be learned from a series of inter-laboratory comparison exercises organised by the Forensic Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (FIRMS) network in terms of reference materials (RMs), the management of data quality, and technical limitations. The results showed that within-laboratory precision (repeatability) was generally good but between-laboratory accuracy (reproducibility) called for improvements. This review considers how stable isotope laboratories can establish a system of quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA), emphasising issues of repeatability and reproducibility. For results to be comparable between laboratories, measurements must be traceable to the international δ-scales and, because isotope ratio measurements are reported relative to standards, a key aspect is the correct selection, calibration, and use of international and in-house RMs. The authors identify four principles which promote good laboratory practice. The principle of identical treatment by which samples and RMs are processed in an identical manner and which incorporates three further principles; the principle of identical correction (by which necessary corrections are identified and evenly applied), the principle of identical scaling (by which data are shifted and stretched to the international δ-scales), and the principle of error detection by which QC and QA results are monitored and acted upon. To achieve both good repeatability and good reproducibility it is essential to obtain RMs with internationally agreed δ-values. These RMs will act as the basis for QC and can be used to calibrate further in-house QC RMs tailored to the activities of specific laboratories. In-house QA standards must also be developed to ensure that QC-based calibrations and corrections lead to accurate results for samples. The δ-values assigned to RMs must be recorded and reported with all data. Reference materials must be used to determine what corrections are necessary for measured data. Each analytical sequence of samples must include both QC and QA materials which are subject to identical treatment during measurement and data processing. Results for these materials must be plotted, monitored, and acted upon. Periodically international RMs should be analysed as an in-house proficiency test to demonstrate results are accurate. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


PubMed | Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry | Year: 2013

A method is described to prepare inexpensive organic reference materials for routine stable isotope work. The method blends isotope-enriched and isotope-depleted materials to match closely international measurement standards. Examples are presented showing how (13)C-enriched and (13)C-depleted glucose were blended to match the isotopic compositions of the international carbon isotope standards, NBS 19 and L-SVEC. Preparation of the blended standards was straightforward, and the prepared solutions proved easy to dispense into tin capsules and easy to combust in a conventional isotope analysis system. The blended materials allow a laboratory to perform a two-point calibration for isotopic composition on a daily basis, with the use of an international reference material recommended for routine quality assurance. The blending method can be applied widely to make isotope standards for other elements and compounds.


PubMed | Griffith University and Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Service
Type: | Journal: Food chemistry | Year: 2014

This research has explored the potential of stable isotope and trace metal profiles to distinguish Australian prawns from prawns imported from neighbouring Asian countries. Australian prawns were collected mostly from the Brisbane area. Strong differences in Australian vs. imported prawns were evident from both the isotope and trace element data, with the differences most likely occurring because imported prawns are typically reared in aquaculture facilities and frozen prior to sale in Australia. The aquaculture origins are characterised by comparatively; low HVSMOW, (13)CVPDB values, low concentrations of arsenic, zinc and potassium, and high water contents (>80%). Relatively high arsenic and cadmium contents were found within Australian prawns, but the concentrations did not exceed local human health guidelines.

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