Toxicology is the study of the effects of chemicals and physical agents on living organisms. At the forensic laboratory we are primarily concerned with human-performance forensic toxicology, which includes substances, such as drugs and alcohol, which impair a person's mental or physical performance or behavior. Forensic toxicology programs are generally divided into two subsections: forensic alcohol testing and forensic drug testing. The Vermont Forensic Laboratory has a full alcohol testing program including blood and breath alcohol. For blood drug testing, the Vermont Forensic Laboratory utilizes an immunoassay method to screen samples for certain classes of impairing drugs. Results that screen positive are then passed on for confirmatory testing by liquid chromatography with dual mass spectrometry.
Forensic Toxicology Links
- Society of Forensic Toxicologists, Inc.
- American Academy of Forensic Science
- International Association of Forensic Toxicologists