As well as being the route for gaseous exchange, the nasal passages protect the lungs from debris and fine particulates inhaled during breathing. Foreign particles are trapped by mucus produced by membranes that line the upper respiratory tract. Even when a corpse has skeletonised, particles can be retrieved from the surface of nasal bones and may provide valuable evidence of events leading up to, and including the death of a murder victim. In this paper, we give a brief anatomical description of the parts of the nasal passages that yield most information, the methods for extraction of the evidence, and brief description of a case where such evidence has proved useful. c2006 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Forensic palynology