Over the last decade or so, “CSI” has become synonymous with forensic science. The popular television series “Crime Scene Investigation”, which debuted in October 2000, has generated significant interest about the science behind crime-solving. One such area is forensic toxicology, or the ability to identify the presence foreign substances.
A touch of glamour
Hollywood wouldn’t be what it is without beautiful faces and melodrama. Producers are able to sell the show this way, and none of the millions of “CSI” fans are complaining. However, beyond the show business trappings, the application of forensic science to solve a crime can be a gratifying experience.
Do you have what it takes?
If everything seen on the television series is to be believed, you’d have to be smart, hard-working, and attractive with a gym-toned physique to pursue a career in forensic toxicology. In reality, only the parts about being hard-working and being quick on your feet are applicable. It starts with a degree in either biology or chemistry. After three years of fieldwork, the applicant can get certified by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, and then recertify every five years.
Certified forensic toxicologists are qualified to work in either the medical or legal fields. Aside from being able to provide knowledge to help determine the outcome of a criminal case, they are also tapped by the US Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate the safety of food and medical products.