The Company

Peninsula Chemical Analysis Ltd.

In a 1975 monograph from the American Chemical Society entitled Forensic Science the statement is made that the best candidates for training, as a forensic scientists are chemists. Within the chemical discipline itself analytical chemists are the measurement specialists, who must be thoroughly trained in organic, inorganic and physical chemistries in addition to physics, mathematics and electronics. Almost three years prior to completing a postgraduate degree in analytical chemistry my “on the job” training as a forensic scientist started with the examination of artifacts from a gasoline explosion and fire on an expensive diesel yacht. Employed as a summer research assistant at Brock University in St, Catharines in 1968 I was the lowest ranked chemist in the laboratory and hence readily available for “menial” work. The messy task of examining the black lubricating oil, burnt filter cartridge and gasoline contaminated, charred residues from the fire scene, fell to me. In spite of the contrast between the pristine chemical analysis laboratory and the dirty, grimy artifacts from the fire scene, the challenge of extracting information from the seemingly intractable fire debris left by the disaster, was enthralling.

Postgraduate specialization in chemical analysis at Waterloo provided the credentials for a career in consulting and brought in some of our initial industrial clients. In the ensuing years formal education courses have been taken and taught in numerous specialties based upon chemical analysis while practical courtroom experience with the appropriate qualifications has been accumulated.

The establishment of a commercial chemical analysis laboratory, solving problems for industrial clients, most of whom maintained their own "in house" laboratory facilities, initially built up our experience and reputation. Commercial success with industrial problem solving eventually brought us into the civil aspects of forensic science. In many cases where failures, explosions, fires, contaminated feedstocks, process upsets and a host of other events had caused property damage, injuries and business losses that were not the fault of the insured, the insurance provider sought to subrogate to recover financial losses. As the initial investigators of the event that had caused the invoking of the insurance coverage, we became an integral part of the litigation effort to recover losses.

Eventually the demands of laboratory management and the trend toward automated virtually "comodity" chemical analysis led to the company divesting itself of the commercial chemical analysis facility. Currently facilities for imaging and electronics that are not available elsewhere are maintained in support the consulting service. Ordinary routine chemical analysis procedures or highly sophisticated analysis instrumentation required for selected consulting problems are available on an "as needed" basis from numerous commercial, academic and governmental services.