Forensic Toxicology Essay

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Forensic toxicologists perform scientific tests on bodily fluids and tissue samples to identify any drugs or chemicals present in the body. A forensic toxicologist will isolate and identify any substances in the body that may have contributed to the crime, for example: • alcohol • illegal or prescription drugs • other chemicals • poisons • metals • gases, such as carbon monoxide Most forensic toxicologists work in labs run by law enforcement agencies, medical examiners or private drug testing facilities. The tests they perform require very fine motor skills and a dogged commitment to following rigorous scientific protocols. A forensic toxicologist generally has a bachelor's degree in chemistry, clinical chemistry, pharmacology or another scientific field. Salary: $34,527-$64,578 A Day In The Life Of: A toxicologist's day starts in the lab identifying toxic substances or radiation as well as finding the harmful impact they may have on plants and animals, and humans. They also preform experiments on animals, bacteria and cell cultures to assess biochemical, immune system and molecular effects. This work might include many hours in the lab spent looking through microscopes or at digital images of toxic materials on slides and cultures. They spend a lot of time standing or sitting everyday. Toxicologists might also spend part of their day out in the field inspecting a site known or believed to contain toxic material. With the results of experiments from the lab and in the field, a toxicologist might then spend part of the day analyzing his data and comparing it with other available research. Toxicology work also includes writing reports and scientific papers, formally presenting findings to companies and agencies and, in the case of forensic work, giving evidence in court on scientific

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