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Forensic Toxicology. - the study of the chemical and physical properties of toxic substances and their physiological effect on living organisms. Deaths Investigated by Toxicologists. Accidental Poisonings Drug Abuse Cases Suicidal Poisonings Homicidal Poisonings.

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forensic toxicology

Forensic Toxicology

- the study of the chemical and physical properties of toxic substances and their physiological effect on living organisms

slide2

Deaths Investigated by Toxicologists

  • Accidental Poisonings
  • Drug Abuse Cases
  • Suicidal Poisonings
  • Homicidal Poisonings
slide3

Deaths Investigated by Toxicologists

  • Accidental Poisonings
  • Drug Abuse Cases
  • Suicidal Poisonings
  • Homicidal Poisonings
slide4

Toxicological Analysis of Tissue

  • Collect sample of all body fluids
  • Collect samples from organs and tissues
  • A forensic toxicologist cannot simply look for the presence of a toxin or drug in a body, she must understand how the body processes these molecules
  • Toxicological analysis must start as soon as possible after a person’s death
slide5

Toxicological Analysis of Tissue

  • Collect sample of all body fluids
  • Collect samples from organs and tissues
  • A forensic toxicologist cannot simply look for the presence of a toxin or drug in a body, she must understand how the body processes these molecules
  • Toxicological analysis must start as soon as possible after a person’s death
slide6

General Classes of Poisons

  • Gases
  • Metallic Poisons
  • 3. Steam Volatile Poisons
  • 4. Non-volatile Organics
  • - the major category here is what is known as an alkaloid, a drug that mimics human neurotransmitters or hormones and therefore interferes with normal body chemistry
  • Alkaloids are derived from plants…
slide7

Alkaloids

  • Common Examples:
  • Amphetamines – stimulants that provoke euphoria; these drugs mimic catecholamines in the human body (adrenaline, etc)
  • Cocaine – natural stimulant that acts as a mimic to catecholamines; metabolites are detected in urine for as many as 3 days
  • Opiates – depressants that reduce muscle activity, heartbeat, respiration, and the inclination to sleep; effective pain relievers and euphoria producing; opiates mimic endorphins in the human body
  • Cannabinoids – fast acting plant alkaloid; body mimic is unknown; metabolites can be detected in urine for months
slide8

Alkaloids

amphetamine

adrenaline

cocaine

serotonin

ecstasy

slide9

Methods of Detection

  • Color test
  • 2. Chromatography
  • a. thin-layer chromatography (TLC)
  • b. gas chromatography (GC)
  • c. high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • 3. Spectroscopy
  • a. UV light d. X-ray
  • b. visible light e. infrared
  • c. microwave
slide10

Methods of Detection

  • Color test
  • Chromatography
  • a. thin-layer chromatography (TLC)
  • b. gas chromatography (GC)
  • c. high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • 3. Spectroscopy
  • a. UV light d. X-ray
  • b. visible light e. infrared
  • c. microwave
slide11

Methods of Detection

  • Color test
  • 2. Chromatography
  • a. thin-layer chromatography (TLC)
  • b. gas chromatography (GC)
  • c. high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • 3. Spectroscopy
  • a. UV light d. X-ray
  • b. visible light e. infrared
  • c. microwave
slide12

Methods of Detection

  • Color test
  • 2. Chromatography
  • a. thin-layer chromatography (TLC)
  • b. gas chromatography (GC)
  • c. high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • 3. Spectroscopy
  • a. UV light d. X-ray
  • b. visible light e. infrared
  • c. microwave
slide13

Methods of Detection

  • Color test
  • Chromatography
  • a. thin-layer chromatography (TLC)
  • b. gas chromatography (GC)
  • c. high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • 3. Spectroscopy
  • a. UV light d. X-ray
  • b. visible light e. infrared
  • c. microwave
slide15

Methods of Detection

  • Color test
  • Chromatography
  • a. thin-layer chromatography (TLC)
  • b. gas chromatography (GC)
  • c. high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • 3. Spectroscopy
  • a. UV light d. X-ray
  • b. visible light e. infrared
  • c. microwave
slide17

Methods of Detection

  • Color test
  • Chromatography
  • a. thin-layer chromatography (TLC)
  • b. gas chromatography (GC)
  • c. high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • 3. Spectroscopy
  • a. UV light d. X-ray
  • b. visible light e. infrared
  • c. microwave
slide19

Methods of Detection

  • 4. Mass Spectroscopy
  • Immunoassay
slide20

Methods of Detection

  • 4. Mass Spectroscopy
  • Immunoassay
slide21

Interpretation of Findings

  • Is a drug or poison present? What substance?
  • How much of the substance is present? Is it’s concentration in the body sufficient to cause death?
  • How was the drug/poison administered?