The U.S. Department of State established the Chemical Forensics International Technical Working Group (CFITWG) to address gaps in chemical forensic science and capabilities through an international partnership of experts from science, policy, academic, law enforcement, and export-control organizations. The effort is an ad hoc and voluntary association of practitioners of chemical forensics, including participation by policy makers, members of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) designated laboratories network and Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), academic institutions, and the law enforcement community. The group’s efforts have contributed to the work of the SAB to help strengthen the OPCW’s investigative options in the future. The group meets biennially.
What is Chemical Forensics?
Chemical forensics and forensic chemistry are fields that encompass the application of chemistry, sample collection techniques, analysis methods and tools, and analytical instrumentation to assess crime scenes by gathering and analyzing chemical evidence.
CFITWG Areas of Interest
Identification of chemical attribution signatures and associated data analytics capabilities for selected classes of chemical threat agents including toxic industrial chemicals (TICs), chemical warfare agent surrogates, explosives, pharmaceutical agents (including counterfeits), drugs of abuse, pesticides, and toxins;
Development of forensic tools such as analytical and chemometric procedures and standardize methods of data handling and security for advancement of best practices to support forensic-based analyses (such as those governed by the legal standards of admissible evidence and criminal procedure); and
Investigation of chemical analysis tools and capabilities from other fields for forensic and retrospective analytical purposes (to include survey, compilation, and analysis of reports and publications, in the public sphere).
Please reach out to the Office of Chemical and Biological Weapons Affairs with any questions: CFITWG@state.gov
Office of Chemical and Biological Weapons Affairs
Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
Sites of Interest
- Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW): https://www.opcw.org/
- International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons: https://www.noimpunitychemicalweapons.org/-en-.html
- Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, Chemical Security Working Group: https://www.gpwmd.com/cswg
- American Chemical Society: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en.html
- American Academy of Forensic Sciences: https://www.aafs.org/
Articles of Interest
- Talanta Chemical Forensics Special Issue
- Impurity Profiling — ACS Publication
- Analytical Method — ACS Publication
- Pharmaceutical Agent — ACS Publication
- Pharmaceutical Agent — ScienceDirect
- Analysis Tool — Nature.com
- Analysis Tool — Journal of Chemical Science
- Analysis Method — ScienceDirect
- Analysis Method — Nature.com