Lab analyzes syringe found near Caylee

Chemist calls amount of chloroform 'insignificant'

ORLANDO, Fla. - The presence of chloroform in a bottle and syringe recovered within inches of homicide victim Caylee Anthony?s skull is chemically insignificant, according to a chemist who analyzed FBI lab results for Local 6.

The chemical was found in a liquid contained in a Cool Blue Gatorade bottle and syringe, which were inside a World of Disney bag that lay just six inches from the 2-year-old?s skull, when it was found in December.

The girl?s mother, Casey Anthony, is charged with murder and aggravated child abuse in connection with the death, which the medical examiner ruled a homicide, though the cause of death is undetermined.

The traces of chloroform in the liquid received much media attention last week, when its presence was noted in more than 2,000 pages of documents released by the Orange-Osceola State Attorney?s Office.

HLN cable news personality Nancy Grace stated on her show the syringe was ?loaded? with chloroform, and legal analysts have called the chloroform discovery a ?smoking gun? or otherwise damaging to the defense.

But a closer look the FBI laboratory test results on the liquid reveals the level of chloroform in the liquid constitutes only about 12 parts per billion. By comparison, drinking water can contain up to 80 parts per billion of chloroform and its chemical cousins and still pass the Environmental Protection Agency standards for chlorinated drinking water.

Neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys would comment on the findings, but Local 6 took them to an independent chemist who said the presence of chloroform at that level was not significant.

The FBI chemist who did the tests did not even mention chloroform in his final report, turned over to investigators in July 2009 ? two months after he started testing the substance.

In his report, Michael Rickenbach stated the ?whitish/murky liquid ? could be from a type of cleaning product. Additionally, a mixture of testosterone compounds? was identified in both the bottle and syringe.

That would suggest the syringe and bottle may be connected to someone injecting testosterone ? a steroid often used by body builders and others seeking to increase muscle mass.

DNA tests on the bottle and syringe failed to produce any results.

Without any evidence tying Casey Anthony to the steroid mixture, Gatorade bottle or syringe, the contents of the World of Disney bag and its proximity to Caylee may be of no evidentiary value to either the state or the defense.

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