The effects of standard household chemicals containing acids on bone and soft tissue of complete pig (Sus scrofa) heads
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In forensic contexts, eliminating the ability for identification and/or discovery of victims is a priority for many individuals perpetrating a homicide. This can be achieved in a number of ways, but a common belief is that acidic products can accomplish both. The current study submerged twelve complete pig (Sus scrofa) heads in three different commercial products containing hydrochloric or sulfuric acid (n=4 for each product) in order to determine if complete liquefaction was possible. The product with 31.45% concentration of hydrochloric acid was able to liquefy each head in five days. Motor vehicle battery acid (37% concentration of sulfuric acid) was able to liquefy each head in five weeks. The product with the low concentration (5 – 10%) of hydrochloric acid was not able to remove the soft tissue, but did affect the structure and consistency of the bones and teeth. Some common chemicals therefore are effective tools in body disposal.