If you are fond of watching crime drama TV series like “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” you might have heard of lead characters like Catherine Willows or D.B. Russell asking the lab guys for toxicology reports. This usually takes place when a dead body is found and the cause of death is unclear. A toxicology report helps determine if the fatality had chemicals in his system that may have led to his death.
One branch of toxicology is environmental toxicology which is the scientific study of the effects of chemicals on the environment. Environmental toxicologists typically collect chemical samples from a given area and study its physical and chemical makeup, as well as the level of contamination, if any. More importantly, they delve into the effects of the chemicals to human health, something that is especially critical during an ongoing land development project at a remote area where pollutants are likely to exist.
If substances in a particular area are proven to have detrimental effects on human health, environmental toxicologists may advise the land property owner on ways to control or get rid of these chemicals before construction of the structure begins. They also help devise ways on how to make construction work safe for the laborers. Overall, environmental toxicologists help companies strengthen all environmental efforts against pollutants.
Food poisoning happens when the ingredients in the food, such as meat, fish, or poultry, have been exposed to heat or to room temperature for a considerable length of time before the food was eaten. Food poisoning may also be caused by the improper processing or cooking of food. If you are a victim of food poisoning, you are legally entitled to file for claims against the manufacturer or source of the toxic food.
Food poisoning lawsuits may be tricky. You need to be able to pinpoint the food that caused your sickness and legally prove two things: (1) the food was contaminated; and (2) your sickness was caused by the contamination.
Food contamination has to be proven scientifically, often through the expertise of forensic toxicologists. If there is an outbreak of food poisoning in your area, the cause of the contamination is easier to trace and to prove, which would make a lawsuit easier to settle. However, if no outbreak is present, you may need to get samples of the contaminated food and have it examined for toxic contents.
Proving that your sickness was caused by the contamination might likely require a stool examination. A medical technologist or a forensic toxicologist may be called upon to show that your stool contains the same microbe that is also present in the contaminated food.
Most states have very strict laws on product liability, particularly food products, so you can be assured that you are protected in this regard.