Toxicology

Description

Toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. It is the study of symptoms, mechanisms, treatments and detection of poisoning, especially the poisoning of people.
Toxicologists determine what substances were in a body at the time of death which helps determine the cause of death.

Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in one of the physical sciences such as biology or chemistry.
  • After working in the field for a minimum of 3 years, the American Board of Forensic Toxicology offers certification.
  • Practicing forensic toxicologists must recertify every 5 years.


Criminal Case

The death of a 4-year old boy was ruled a homicide His mother gave him a prescription sedative and his father found him unconscious and not breathing in his bed. Toxicology tests found a combination of oxycodone, oxymorphone, ibuprofen and eszopiclone (Lunesta) in the child's system. Police had searched the family's apartment and collected 68 prescription pill bottles, most of which were prescribed to the boy's father. He had told the mother not to give their son, Nicholas, the Lunesta but she did it anyway. No charges were filed.

Sources

Fohn, Roseanne. "Mission Magazine - Forensic Toxicologists Hold CLUES to Solving Crime." Mission Magazine - Forensic Toxicologists Hold CLUES to Solving Crime. N.p., Sept. 2009. Web. 30 Jan. 2013. <http://www.uthscsa.edu/mission/article.asp?id=578>.

"Forensic Toxicology." Forensic Toxicology. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2013. <http://www.forensictoxicology.net/>.

Olmeda, Rafael A. "Coral Springs Toddler's Death Ruled Homicide; Toxicology Tests Finds Lunesta, Oxycodone in Child's System." Coral Springs Toddler's Death Ruled Homicide; Toxicology Tests Fi. N.p., 7 Jan. 2010. Web. 30 Jan. 2013.