Chemistry Section

The Nassau County Office of the Medical Examiner (NCOME) Chemistry Section provides forensic controlled substance and fire debris analysis services. The controlled substance sub-discipline provides quality forensic analysis to determine the presence or absence of controlled substances in physical evidence. Controlled substance analysis utilizes state-of-the-art instrumentation to ascertain the chemical integrity and weight of various evidentiary materials such as powders, pills and vegetative matter submitted by law enforcement agencies throughout Nassau County.  

The fire debris sub-discipline analyzes evidence from a fire scene for the presence of ignitable liquids, such as gasoline and kerosene.  Investigators at a scene of a suspicious fire collect evidence that may contain residues of an ignitable liquid used to start the fire.  The evidence is then analyzed using instrumental analytical techniques to determine the presence and type of ignitable liquid, if any.  This information can prove valuable to an investigation in some instances by determining the cause of a fire and establishing intent.  All Forensic Chemistry analyses are conducted independently and objectively, to provide accurate, reliable and timely results to the legal system of Nassau County.

Services Provided and Test Methods

The following is a list of general services provided and methodology utilized in the examination of forensic evidence by the Chemistry Section:

  • Confirmation of controlled substances and ignitable liquids
  • Weight determinations
  • Drug purity testing
  • Statistical sampling techniques
  • Offer training to law enforcement agencies
  • Preparation of scientific reports
  • Provide expert testimony

The Chemistry Section maintains information on-site regarding the exact test methods used in examination and analysis.  This information is available to our submitting agencies and customers upon request.  Contact the Director or Quality Assurance Manager regarding these inquiries.

Customer Feedback

The Chemistry Section strives to provide the highest quality forensic testing services to our customers in a timely fashion. The laboratory management welcomes feedback regarding both positive observations as well as suggestions for improvement of laboratory services. Please use our Laboratory Services Feedback Forms which can be returned by Email or facsimile