Forensic toxicology is the use of scientific techniques to aid medical or legal investigation of death, poisoning, and drug use.A Forensic Toxicologist may use a variety of analytical instrumentation and techniques to isolate and detect intoxicating substances in various kinds of biological samples.
Isolating the toxic substance from the sample is often the most difficult, as forensic tissues are often old, contaminated or degraded. The sample has to be concentrated and purified as much as possible before being analyzed for identification.
Because many poisons are changed by human metabolism after ingestion, it is important for the forensic toxicologists to gather as much background information from the investigating agency as possible. This information will be used to consider all possibilities of a toxilogical source when presented the data from the analytical results of testing.
The most common types of samples the forensic toxicologists works includes blood, hair, saliva, urine, eye tissue and skin. They may be asked to examine the samples for organic compounds, metals or drugs and present their finding in court as an expert witness.