What is Forensic Toxicology?
The first comprehensive work on
forensic toxicology was published in
1813 by Mathieu Orifila. He was a
respected Spanish chemist and the
physician who is often given the
distinction of "father of toxicology."
His work emphasized the need for
adequate proof of identification and the
need for quality assurance. It also
recognized the application of forensic
toxicology in pharmaceutical, clinical,
industrial and environmental fields.
Forensic toxicology is a discipline of
forensic science concerned with the
study of toxic substances or poisons, of
which there are many thousands.
Toxicology encompasses theoretical
considerations, methods and procedures
from many disciplines including
analytical chemistry, biochemistry,
pathology, and physiology.
Currently, forensic toxicology is the
study of alcohol, drugs (licit and
illicit) and poisons, including their
chemical composition, preparations and
identification. It includes knowledge
about the absorption, distribution and
elimination characteristics of such
substances in the body, as well as the
manner in which the body reponds to
their presence and the factors which
determine drug safety and effectiveness.
To understand drug action one must know
where and how the effects occur in the
Toxicology is the study of the toxic or
harmful effects of chemicals. It is
concerned with how toxins act, when
their harmful effects occur, and what
the symptoms and treatments are for
poisoning. It also involves the
identification of the substances