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the study of the adverse effects of chemicals or physical agents on living organisms.

Environmental Toxicology

air, water, and soil

Consumer Toxicology

foods, cosmetics, and drugs

Central Nervous System Depression


Respiratory Arrest

loss of respiratory drive, loss of muscle reflexes (tongue) allowing suffocation, aspiration of gastric contents into airways

Cardiovascular Effects

hypotension, hypovolemia, arrythmias

Specific Bodily Functions

cellular hypoxia, seizures from muscle hyperactivity, hyperexia, kidney failure, liver failure, etc.

Lethal Dose 50

refers to the dose of a substance that kills half of the test population usually within 4 hours


sensitivity of an organ or tissue to a drug; measure of a dose


the maximum effect of a drug; Measure of quantified drug response

Type S Poisoner

specific victim targeted, slow poisoning with specific poison Type S/S, quick decision, opportune poison Type S/Q

Type R Poisoner

random victim targeted, slow poisoning with specific poison Type R/S, quick decision, opportune poison Type R/Q


a natural or synthetic substance designed to affect the subject psychologically or physiologically

Controlled Substances

drugs that are restricted by law

Controlled Substances Act

enacted in 1970 lists illegal drugs, their category and their penalty for possession, sale or use.


Physician's Desk Reference, used to identify manufactured pills, tablets and capsules

Field Tests

presumptive tests

Lab Tests

conclusive tests

Marquis Color Test

turns purple in the presence of most opium derivatives and orange-brown with amphetamines

Dillie-Koppanyi Color Test

turns violet-blue in the presence of barbiturates

Duquenois-Levine Color Test

turns a purple color in the presence of marijuana

Van Urk Color Test

turns a blue-purple in the presence of LSD

Scott Color Test

color test for cocaine


Technique for separating mixtures into their component compounds

Retention Factor

number that represents how far a compound travels in a particular solvent

Relative Retention Time

the ratio of the retention time of the substance to the retention time of a standard that is placed into the sample


the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter.


an instrument used to measure and record the absorption spectrum of a chemical substance.


Blood Alcohol Content, expressed as a percent weight per volume

Preliminary Field Test for Alcohol

used to determine the degree of suspect's physical impairment and whether or not another test is justified.


collects and measures alcohol content of alveolar breath

Johann Metzger

discovered a way to detect arsenic in solutions

Valentine Rose

Rose showed how arsenic could be detected in human organs

Mathieu Orfila

the father of forensic toxicology


a famous Ancient Greek Poisoner


personal poisoner of Emperor Nero

Lucrezia Borgia

father was Pope Alexander VI

Madame Giulia Toffana

committed over 600 successful poisonings, including two Popes.

Hieronyma Spara

formed a society to teach women how to murder their husbands

Madame de Brinvilliers and Catherine Deshayes

French Poisoners

Thomas Hickey

first American executed for treason, for attempting to poison George Washington in 1776

William Palmer, MD

"The Rugeley Poisoner"

Viktor Yuschenko

candidate for President of Ukraine in 2004, poisoned during campaign

John Trestrail

is a practicing boarded toxicologist who has consulted on many criminal poisoning cases

Arthur Jeffrey Dempster (1886-1950)

developed the first modern mass spectrometer

Francis William Aston

was a British physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in the invention of the mass spectrometer

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