The testimony of a medical expert witness is crucial in most medical malpractice cases because non-doctors who are dealing with the case may not fully understand the scientific principles involved. A skilled toxicology expert witness, for example, can explain how certain chemicals can cause death or paralysis to a person. The judge’s verdict can greatly shift after listening to the testimony of a reputable expert witness.
There have been many instances when a case was immediately decided (or worse, dismissed) due to lack of medical expert witnesses from either the prosecution or the defense.
The article explains that producing evidence through forensic science is not that simple. Lack of sufficient experience in handling different types of cases may yield fallible findings and lead to wrongful convictions (or acquittals).
The hired forensic toxicologist who will examine the evidence must have extensive knowledge and experience in handling urine, blood, and oral samples. Experience proves important, especially in cases that involve examination of bacteria and maggots from decomposing matter. Inexperienced toxicologists may not be comfortable handling such samples and their health might be at risk.
Classified under the broad wing of environmental science, environmental toxicology is a discipline studying the direct and indirect effects of ecological pollution to human life, particularly health. It primarily deals with five sub-fields.
The atmosphere. For the past 40 years, environmental toxicology has focused a huge part of its efforts into studying the interaction of man-made pollutants with the atmosphere, and how such interactions can provoke an torrent of disadvantages to the Earth’s inhabitants.
Water sources. Continuous research was also conducted to determine the possible negative effects of excess, runoff nutrients to water sources throughout the world. Valuable nutrients, while highly beneficial in small amounts, are dangerous when concentrated highly than normal and can even damage an entire aquatic system.
Heavy metals. The Industrial Revolution has spewed out a significant amount of chemical pollution onto the Earth, including toxic metals that may find its way into food and potable water supplies.
DNA mutations. The effect of environmental toxins on living DNA is also examined, in order to determine if mutations can occur upon exposure.
The Big C. The study of the relation between the developments of cancers like leukemia, lung cancer, melanoma, and lymphomas are also covered by environmental toxicology. Environmental toxicologists investigate these incidences and how intensely exposed an individual/groups of cancer patients are to several substances.
Lead is a tough, naturally occurring metal used in a wide variety of industries, including construction, ammunition, and even in commercial paints. However, despite its popularity, it can be highly toxic to human beings. Here are some basic facts you should know about the substance: