Is It Possible To Find Poison In The Ashes Of A Dead Person?

Poison In The Ashes Of A Dead Person

Poison detection in the ashes of a dead person is only possible in a forensic toxicology lab. From sample handling to poison testing is all done under the supervision of forensic experts. Finding poison traces from the cremains of the ashes of a dead person could be a game-changer in most criminal cases.

Test of the ashes or the cremains is usually the last resort when no other sample from the deceased person’s body could be accumulated. This doesn’t mean justice can’t have prevailed. Poison detection in the cremains is undoubtedly a long shot but not an impossible case. The possibility of testing a person’s remains or ashes depends on how they have been cremated.

Suggestions On Ashes Testing

If someone dies under strange circumstances, it becomes essential to bring closure while highlighting the fatal cases of murder. If no samples could be collected from the dead body before cremation, the ashes or the cremains become the last resort that helps bring closure to the grief-stricken family and relatives.

If a person dies suddenly and under suspicious circumstances, bringing them justice becomes important. If you are left with nothing but the cremains of the dead, have a certified forensic lab conduct an examination of the cremains.

Is DNA Testing Possible With Ash Samples?

DNA testing helps significantly in ascertaining the person’s identity, from gender to its relation with the person seeking answers. At The Carlson Company, we offer cremains (ashes) testing to detect the DNA and the presence of toxins or poison in the deceased person’s body.

Prior to testing for DNA or poisons, the ashes need to be tested for organic material ascertaining the ashes are of humans.

How DNA Testing on Ashes Works?

Collection and Handling: The first step is to ensure that the ashes are carefully collected and handled to avoid contamination. This process is done under strict supervision in a forensic toxicology lab.

Initial Testing for Organic Material: Before attempting DNA extraction, the ashes are tested for the presence of organic material to confirm they are human remains. This step is crucial as it determines the feasibility of further testing.

DNA Extraction: If organic material is present, forensic experts use specialized methods to extract any remaining DNA. This is a meticulous process that requires advanced equipment and expertise.

Analysis and Identification: Once DNA is extracted, it is analyzed to identify genetic markers. These markers can confirm the identity of the deceased, their gender, and their relation to living family members.

Challenges and Limitations

While DNA testing on ashes can provide valuable information, it is not always successful due to the high temperatures involved in cremation. The chances of obtaining usable DNA depend on various factors, including the cremation temperature and duration. Despite these challenges, advancements in forensic science have made it possible to achieve results in many cases.

Are Human Cremains/Ashes Toxic?

Cremated remains are actually dry calcium phosphate with minerals in minor amounts. Sulfur or carbon are driven off as oxidized gases during the process. In certified forensic labs, all the samples, along with the ashes, are treated wearing gloves to maintain the integrity of the samples. Surely, if you touch human ashes, they are safe and will not harm you.

Learn more: DNA Testing on Cremated Remains


The Carlson Company is more than glad to help you bring final closure to the deceased family member. The process is transparent and legal. Yes, we offer Cremation Ashes Testing to detect DNA, toxins, poisons test, heavy metals, Post mortem forensic toxicology test, organic or inorganic materials, and drug materials. We offer services to the crime branches, attorneys as well as the person’s family members.