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For comprehensive and detailed examinations the items must be submitted to one of the FDS laboratories. Some examinations can be conducted on a limited basis elsewhere with portable equipment, however, any conclusions will likely be qualified and subject to confirmation (and possible strengthening) following detailed examinations in our laboratory where we have the benefit of access to the full range of our instrumentation, reference materials and other resources. Furthermore, laboratory examinations allow immediate consultation between our examiners for quality assurance purposes. Many examinations cannot be undertaken at all outside our laboratory. This is an issue that needs to be assessed on a case by case basis.
Our instrumentation is expensive and mostly not designed to be portable. Transporting the instrumentation around raises significant insurance issues as well as some occupational health and safety concerns.
Aside from these issues, scientific examinations should be undertaken in an appropriate environment - not on the corner of a table in the Court Registry or a desk in someone's office, and preferably not with client's and others looking over the examiner's shoulder.