Understanding Forensic Toxicology and Toxic Tort

Any lawsuit that involves harm received by a person from another person or entity via exposure to hazardous chemicals can be considered as toxic tort. For instance: if a certain community experiences a widespread sickness due to alleged improper waste disposal by a nearby factory, the community can file a toxic tort case against the source. As a paralegal of your law firm, you should familiarize yourself with the tasks involved when handling such cases. Continue reading


Lights! Camera! Science!

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. Continue reading

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.


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.

How Forensic Toxicologists Help Save Lives

When we think of forensic toxicologists, we usually think of investigators seen on popular crime shows with their fingerprint powders and high-tech photographic equipment. However, they do more than just sit in labs and solve crimes. Forensic toxicology is also about identifying foreign substances in a body and how much of it is present. This field of expertise has applications in various areas more than crime-solving.

Environmental Toxicology

Poisoning isn’t always due to a person secretly placing toxic substances in another person’s food or drink. Humans can likewise be exposed to toxic materials in nature, whether the source is natural or man-made. Some examples of toxic elements present in nature are asbestos and lead.

Asbestos is usually used as a fire retardant. However, too much of it in a home, and the residents would be breathing in a lot of asbestos particles, which can eventually cause lung cancer. Lead, usually found in old pipes, can mix with drinking water and be ingested by people, thereby resulting in lead poisoning. Identifying the presence of these toxins is part of a forensic toxicologist’s work.

Expert Testimony

Court cases need expert evidence. Many forensic toxicologists are called upon by both prosecutors and defense lawyers to give their knowledgeable opinion about various cases, ranging from drunk driving to poisoning cases with circumstantial evidence. Providing the right information can help keep innocents out of jail and ensure that justice is aptly served.

What you should know about the Dangers of Lead

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:

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Should You Use Fake Urine to Pass a Drug Test?

The use of fake urine to hide drug use has been a constant issue for drug testing programs in various fields. There are many kits available today, with some including salts, creatinine, and coloring dye to make them more realistic. Some even come with temperature strips to ensure that the sample matches body temperature. Tubing may even be provided to give testers the illusion that the sample is coming from the body. Continue reading

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.