By: Ashley Munoz
December 5th, 2014
1. What does this field of forensics examine?
Toxicology examines the effects of chemicals on the body of living beings. Usually, this field focuses on the negative effects instead of the positive. It also studies effects of chemical, biological and physical agents in biological systems that establishes the extent of damage in living beings. Forensic toxicology is used to assist in medical investigations of intoxication , death, and drug use.
2. How is it examined? (What techniques are used?)
There are many techniques used to examine toxicology. One of the techniques is Serum
Testing or Serum protein electrophoresis. Serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP) is a technique used in the laboratory for dictating the levels of protein in blood samples. This test is ordered by doctors to test for a cancer which is called multiple myeloma which starts in the plasma cells in bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue found inside most bones that helps make blood cells. This test also is used to test for a disease called for multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease of the nervous system.
3. Who examines it? (What types of qualifications are needed?)
To become a toxicologist, you must have a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences such as chemistry, biology or forensic science. A graduate degree program in toxicology explores the principles of toxicology, biological chemistry, cellular physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology and analytic chemistry. You also need to have problem solving skills and teamwork skills good enough to work in teams with multiple professional specializations. You will also need the ability to accumulate and analyse voluminous amounts of experimental data and a very high ability to self motivate yourself to approach and complete work.
4. How is it helpful? (What type of information would i provide?)
Toxicology is helpful because it can establish the cause of death or identify clues that can solve a crime. Toxicology is important for determining accidental deaths and suicides. A toxicologist can examine cases as severe as poisoned gas to prescription drugs. The forensic pathologist usually looks for toxicologic analyses on basis of the information available at the time of the medicolegal autopsy. Such information may be obtained from many different sources. For example: hospitals, authorities, relatives, friends, or neighbors of the deceased and, microscopic evidence found during the autopsy.
5. How does it work? (Explain the science)
Forensic Toxicology works by Forensic toxicologists performing exploratory tests on natural liquids and tissue specimens to distinguish any medications or chemicals exhibit in the body. Working in a lab, the scientific toxicologist performs tests on examples gathered by wrongdoing scene examiners. They utilize exceedingly complex instruments, compound reagents and exact strategies to focus the vicinity or unlucky deficiency of particular substances in the specimen. The scientific toxicologist must record each venture of the procedure and fare thee well to take after guidelines in regards to chain of authority for physical proof
6. How accurate is the examination?
The examination goes through a process in which it is clear that the examination is almost 100% accurate. Each laboratory procedure should be constructed in such a way that the purpose for the test is clear, understood by the toxicologist, and clearly reflected in the laboratory report. The report not only should list the result, but also state the degree of certainty with which the result is reported.
7. What other fields of forensics might this field collaborate with?
Forensic Toxicology might collaborate with other fields such as:
○ Aquatic Toxicology
○ Environmental toxicology
○ Forensic toxicology
○ Medical toxicology