TOXICOLOGY AND POISONS

A poison is a substance capable of causing illness or death

"All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy."- Paracelsus(1493-1541)

Anything can be turned into something used to harm the body. Whether it was meant to mend the body or help with a medical issue all things have to potential to be deadly. Even common household foods such as almonds and apples become dangerous, when eaten raw almonds, which are actually seed and not nuts, can prove to be deadly. Both almonds and apple seeds contain cyanide,which is typically used as a gas to poison beings.

Why poisons are difficult to detect

Poisons are difficult to detect because they are quickly absorbed into the body from digestion,injection,inhalation, or contact. it is often difficult to tell if someone died after being poisoned because it often seems that they died of a natural cause.

Cyanide

Cyanide is a very common poison because it is discreet.If poisoned with cyanide the victim will experience:

Weakness,dizziness,odd behavior,headache,shortness of breath, and in extreme cases coma or seizures.

Cyanide can be identified easily during an autopsy because the body will smell of almonds, this will only work if the ME knows that is a distinct trait of cyanide.

Donald Harvey Case

Arsenic

Symptoms of arsenic poisoning vary depending on the levels of arsenic used when poisoned, some symptoms include:

abdominal pain, destruction of red blood cells,shock and death

George III of Great Britain

SImon Bolivar

When checking for poisons in a persons body the persons blood,urine, and body tissues will be tested for any traces of poisons.