Scientist preparing a slide on a microscope. ATF laboratories are staffed with highly trained chemists, forensic biologists, engineers, fingerprint specialists, firearm and toolmark examiners, document examiners and administrative personnel. Many of these professionals have held leadership positions in numerous professional scientific organizations and are among the most highly qualified specialists in their fields.


The below documents are management system documents utilized by ATF Laboratories. They are provided for informational purposes only. Sensitive or copyrighted information has been redacted. The documents are used in ATF Laboratories and not published with the intent of setting a policy or analysis standard for other laboratories. The inclusion of equipment/software manufacturer names does not imply endorsement by ATF Laboratories.

The documents were current as of February 28, 2018. ATF management system documents are reviewed annually and revised as needed. For specific requests, submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Instructions on how to file a FOIA request are found at:

Name Description Type
ATF-LS-LP 4 Latent Print Report Writing (265.4 KB)
This PPG sets the minimum standards and guidelines for reporting fingerprint examinations performed in the ATF Laboratories.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP 5 1,8 Diazafluoren-9-one (DFO) (252.3 KB)
DFO is an analog reagent for revealing latent print impressions on paper and raw wood based products, where it reacts with the amino acids contained in human sweat.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP 7 Laser and Alternate Light Source Examination (240.99 KB)
Scientific instrumentation for the visualization of natural and chemical luminescence of latent print impressions on physical evidence.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP 8 Amido Black (253.2 KB)
Amido Black or naphthalene black 10B is a protein indicator particularly sensitive to those proteins present in blood.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP 9 Ardrox (262.28 KB)
Ardrox P133D is an industrial penetrant developed to detect small fractures in construction materials and possesses certain properties that can be successfully utilized in latent print processing.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP10 Cyanoacrylate Ester Fuming (281.43 KB)
Cyanoacrylate vapor, ethyl or methyl cyanoacrylate, polymerizes with some latent print impressions to produce a white residue. The contrast of developed fingerprints may sometime be improved by the application of fluorescent dyes and/or powders.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP11 Gentian Violet (267.16 KB)
Gentian violet (crystal violet) is a sensitive stain which reacts with epithelial cells and other portions of latent print residue transferred upon surface contact.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP12 Next Generation Identification (252.37 KB) Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP13 Iodine Fuming (251.59 KB)
Iodine is a sensitive indicator of various fatty oils which are often present in latent print residue.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP15 Physical Developer (285.65 KB)
Physical developer is a product devised specifically for the examination of wetted or water soaked porous items.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP16 Powders (290.81 KB)
Fingerprint powders and particulate developers are very fine particles with an affinity for moisture throughout a wide range of viscosity.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP17 Rhodamine 6G (289.74 KB)
Rhodamine 6G, like ardrox and zinc chloride, is a supplemental processing procedure designed to enhance faint or indistinct impressions developed by another technique.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP18 Silver Nitrate (275.75 KB)
Silver nitrate reacts with sodium and potassium chloride in palmar sweat to form silver chloride, a compound more photosensitive than silver nitrate. With certain surfaces, such as raw or unfinished wood and wax impregnated papers silver nitrate is one of the most effective processing techniques available.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP19 Small Particle Reagent (SPR) (278.33 KB)
Small particle reagent was devised and refined as an effective procedure for processing wet surfaces.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP20 Sticky-Side Powder (238.46 KB)
The use of powder suspensions to develop impressions on the sticky side of tape has proven to be an effective alternative to the gentian violet technique.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP21 Sudan Black (261.27 KB)
Sudan Black is a dye which stains fatty components of sebaceous sweat to produce a blue-black image.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP22 Zinc Chloride (280.52 KB)
While numerous metal salt solutions will cause a color change of ninhydrin developed latent print impressions, zinc chloride is selected when laser examination is indicated.
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-LP23 Glossary of Symbols and Terms (267.1 KB)
Glossary of symbols, terms, abbreviations and their descriptions. 
Latent Prints
ATF-LS-QD 1 Handwriting/Hand Printing Examinations (254.97 KB)
To determine, if possible, whether or not a specific writer wrote the questioned handwritten or hand printed material.
Questioned Documents
ATF-LS-QD 2 Typewriting Examinations (251.71 KB)
To determine, if possible, whether or not a given typewriter was used to make the questioned typewritten entries.
Questioned Documents
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