Eroding fingerprints with repeated exposure to bleach [OC]

Submitted by Raven in Privacy

Months back I was forced to take digital fingerprinting for passport renewal, and the cops could not take my fingerprints with digital reader, because all my prints were deformed and blurred. They even had trouble taking prints using physical method. It took them 2 months to reconstruct my prints. I have the lazy habit of not wearing plastic gloves when cleaning or washing with bleach, including high concentration bleach like Clorox. I don't get irritation to it so I didn't bother to wear them.

I talked to some retired janitors who have kids come to our hackerspace for 3D printing workshop, and they said that bleach does the same to their skin after long exposure. It corrodes away your fingerprints, your prints will still be there but official will have problems recording your prints because machine do not recognize it.

The corrosive characteristic of bleach (hydrogen peroxide) is called oxidative stress, basically a term for oxidizing chemical rapidly 'aging' your skin by damaging protein covered on it.

This is the new topic for me to research about it. There was a recent article about a drug trafficker in Madrid managed to evade capture for 15 years because he repeatedly boiled and cutting his finger tips to deform the prints and insert implants to hide it. I'm not entirely a masochist so cutting my fingers is a bit extreme. However, bleaching with oxidizing agents can be the best solution to the painful one.


You must log in or register to comment.

ziq wrote

Beats burning your fingertips on a stove for sure. Will xpost to f/illegalism.


betterletter wrote

hmm... idk about this. for some people, its useful information. at the shitty retail job i currently work, we need a fingerprint record just to clock in and out, which... sucks. I'd probably not do this myself but hey... as long as people know the risks and rewards shrug


Raven OP wrote

Having no print or unrecognizable one is very useful for discreet work. They can reverse reading prints left on gloves or other implants. The latest tech can even recognize prints from wiped surface (alcohol pad wiping still works tho)

Bleached and oxidative stressed prints do not disappear, they are still there, the protein that create your prints all still there. However, it works because the prints are deformed by aging oxidizing agent, that caused forensic algorithms have trouble reading them.


celebratedrecluse wrote

I've heard from others that most people can achieve the same effect of reducing the prominence of fingerprints by just moisturizing your hands twice a day. This will, instead of caustically scarring your hands and etching damage into the prints, cause the lipids in the moisturizer to "fill in" the prints.

Haven't tried it, but I think that bears some investigation before one bleaches their fingers. Plus, it's amusingly bougie


sudo wrote

Are there any adverse affects on your health that come with repeatedly exposing your skin to bleach (besides eroding fingerprints)?


Raven OP wrote

blister and rash for those who allergic to bleach. Oxidative agents could cause heart problem and even failure but only with a large dosage.