Environmental Toxicology Experts Help Prove a Case

When a personal injury lawsuit or a tort case involves the possibility of people being exposed to some harmful and potentially lethal chemicals, lawyers need to call on environmental toxicology experts to help them build their case.

Environmental toxicology experts bank on specialized knowledge acquired through continuing professional education, along with years of invaluable experience. They carefully perform tests and, in much detail, document the methodology employed, as well as the results of it, for the court’s appreciation. An expert toxicologist also appears before a judge or jurors to explain his findings and give an expert opinion regarding the medical and scientific facts and assumptions of a particular case.

One major legal battle that heavily relied on the services of toxicologists is the case of the people of Hinkley versus Pacific Gas and Electric Company, brought to fame by a firm paralegal named Erin Brockovich. That case alleged – and proved through toxicology reports, among others – that PG&E have indeed exposed the Hinkley residents to the pollutant chromium 6. The landmark case landed an enormous $333 million settlement in 1996, and inspired a Hollywood movie starring Julia Roberts. More than that, it highlighted how science and experts were helpful in delivering justice before the court of law.

In any fight for justice that involves hazardous materials, no lawyer or plaintiffs can stand before judge and jury to prove their case without the help of an expert witness. Environmental toxicology experts can be their partners to achieve true justice.

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A Look at Drugs in the Bloodstream

Traces of illegal substances found in a person’s blood are often red flags for a person who may be under suspicion by the police. Many illegal substances may be perceived as adding a bigger high to the person when the evidence points at more grim circumstances. It is up to a forensic toxicologist to discover which illegal substances are in a suspect’s bloodstream and how much has been ingested.

Shorties?

Analgesics like morphine can be found in your blood between six to eight hours after ingestion but take up to three days until it exits with the urine. Amphetamines, heroin, and codeine stay in the bloodstream for up to 12 hours and are out with the urine in no more than three days.

Longer Kick

Some drugs take a long time to stay in the blood and even longer to be flushed out in the urine, upping the chances of traces being detected if a suspect underwent a checkup. Crystal meth stays in the blood between 24 hours to 72 hours, depending on the method of administration, while being taken out in the urine in between three to six days. Cannabis takes the longest to leave the system– tetrahydrocannabinol lingers in the blood for two weeks and stays in your urine for the next month.

Determining the drugs found in the bloodstream can work in an investigation. They may even work as evidence for other related drug cases.