Forensic Toxicology On Making Sense of Substance Abuse At the Wheel

The toxicology data gathered during tests of a DUI suspect matter the most to prosecutors who may think the suspect committed other acts as a segue to the original offense. The substances found in the suspect’s bloodstream will also provide more clues regarding their mental state. For instance, Bieber admitted that he smoked a joint at a recording studio before the arrest, but the source of the marijuana is not yet known.

A skilled forensic toxicologist like Dr. Brautbar has an array of other skills to further shed light on any vague facts of the case. These include making recommendations to case handlers on further angles to pursuing and examining patients, as well as establishing cause and effect using all evidence at hand.


Importance of Environmental Toxicology

When it comes to your workplace, you know it’s always the employees, not the machines, who are the best assets of your company. A machine can break down and be easily replaced. However, an employer who takes care of his employees will always be rewarded with loyalty and tenacity.

Among the things an employer and employee should always think about is workplace health and safety standards. Some environmental hazards in a workplace like chemical exposure may cause environmental diseases. In order not to turn any management-employee relationship awry, it is important to be aware of the standards and regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA is the government agency of the U.S. Department of Labor that helps employees access safety and health information, sets rules to reduce the risk of chemical exposure, regulates the use of protective gear and equipment, and aligns safety procedures in the workplace.

Most companies that do not follow OSHA standards end up in lawsuits related to environmental diseases. To ensure your company won’t be among the statistics, it is best you find an expert on environmental toxicology to inform you if there are possible health risks in your workplace. Doing so not only help you protect your workers against certain hazards, it also protects you from any legal impediments when it comes to their health and wellness.

Bringing Down Goliath With Scientific Evidence

Who could forget Erin Brockovich, the gutsy legal clerk who steered a whole town to engage in a legal battle akin to the clash between David and Goliath? No one could, especially when Julia Roberts played her in the eponymous box office hit back in 2000 and helped reveal the plight of the Hinkley residents.

Hinkley, California, located along the Mojave Desert, was home to energy corporation Pacific Gas & Electric’s compressor stations and cooling towers. For decades, the water in the cooling towers and ponds contained hexavalent chromium to prevent machinery rust. The unlined ponds caused the chemicals to seep into the town’s groundwater, contaminating it, and causing adverse health effects to residents.

The prosecution needed scientific corroboration and documentation to substantiate the extent of PG&E’s disregard for the residents. Consequently, the residents sought the help of a forensic toxicologist to determine the toxicity levels of the substance through comprehensive tests, examine affected people, and interpret each meticulous detail as accurately as possible. The findings augmented the prosecution’s argument that the company concealed vital information about the lethal material and negligently instigated the development of lifelong illnesses.

Fortunately, the case was resolved promptly with proper documents by the prosecution and reliable conclusions by the forensic toxicologist who exposed the contamination’s impact. In the end, the presiding judge ordered PG&E to provide compensation amounting to a total of $333 million to Hinkley residents, the biggest settlement for a direct action lawsuit recorded in US history.