Toxicology is the study of the effects of natural and man-made toxins to humans. Toxicologists are often employed in drug research or forensics, where they detect poisons in the body and relate it to a particular case. Here are some basic facts about the field:
Types of Toxicology
There are three main areas of toxicology namely: forensic, clinical, and environmental. Forensic toxicology specializes in workplace injury and product liability, clinical toxicology focuses on internal medicine, and environmental toxicology studies toxins found in nature. There is also veterinary toxicology, which studies diseases in pets, livestock, and wildlife.
Toxicologists conduct laboratory research and experiments with sample toxins. After their research is completed, they will render reports that summarize the results and will be screened by a peer committee for review. The data gathered from their study will then be published in journals that will be used as reference for further studies, research, and development. In some instances, a toxicologist can also be a medical expert witness to help prove or disprove cases and testify in court.
For someone to be a full-fledged toxicologist, he must first get a Bachelor’s degree in science courses such as biology, genetics, immunology, biochemistry, or pharmacology. Then, he will obtain a degree in the field of toxicology that he wants to specialize in.