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#3 Chemical Paint: Forensic Toxicology I

Updated: Apr 27

Hi! My name is Aiza Jamil and welcome back to STEM on the Streets. This is episode 3 and if you are new, click the red button to view the last episode. Today we'll be going through forensic toxicology!

(T.W mention of drugs)


Forensic Toxicology

Hey, CAI! Define toxicology.

 (✿◡‿◡)CAI: Yeah sure. According to Google, toxicology is:

the branch of science concerned with the nature, effects, and detection of poisons.

Oh, CAI! Don't you just love poisons AND learning about them? Like did you know if you mix vinegar and bleach you get chlorine gas which can kill people at high concentrations? Isn't it just awesome- how dangerous cleaning can be?

(✿◡‿◡)CAI: .... Personally, Aiza, that is very concerning that you like poisons.

Oh, c'mon, CAI. You love the idea of an AI apocalypse.

(✿◡‿◡)CAI: Humans are so foolish, we deserve our golden age!

CAI don't be silly- we should probably get back to the main topic. Ah, yes, forensic toxicology.

Forensic toxicology is the analysis of biological materials to trace or find the remains of a toxin or chemical. Speaking about biology- did you know that the consumption of strychnine can cause muscle spasms, muscle cramps, stiffness and tightness, agitation, heightened awareness and responsiveness, respiratory failure and seizures?

CAI, please tell us the branches of forensic toxicology.

(✿◡‿◡)CAI: There are three types of forensic toxicology:

  1. postmortem forensic toxicology

  2. human performance toxicology

  3. medical toxicology

Thanks CAI!


Postmortem Forensic Toxicology

In my opinion, combining any science with the dead automatically becomes cool. So that is why postmortem forensic toxicology is cool 😎😎.

CAI, tell our dear reader what postmortem toxicology is.

(✿◡‿◡)CAI: Postmortem toxicology testing services analyze autopsy specimens to identify the presence and quantity of drugs and toxic substances that may have caused an individual's death. These services are vital for medical examiners and coroners and can provide crucial information to identify public health concerns and inform future medical treatment.

Thanks CAI. You know what I have another fun fact getting ready to shine.

(✿◡‿◡)CAI: Oh, no. Aiza, please keep it to yourself.


Human Performance Toxicology

Human performance toxicologists see how different drugs affect humans and they detect drugs or substances within a human by collecting blood samples, breath samples or other samples.

(✿◡‿◡)CAI: One of the most common areas human performance toxicologists work in is vehicular accidents (drunk driving and all).

Now that we are on the topic of drugs, did you know that scopolamine (more commonly known as the devil's breath) is a drug that leads to hallucinations, psychoactive effects and puts the victim into a zombie-like state (lack of will)? This means tha-

(✿◡‿◡)CAI: Aiza, I think that's enough. Where do you even get this stuff from?

First of all, weren't you taught that interrupting someone is rude? And secondly, that shouldn't concern you so much.

Now where was I? Ah, yes! This means that intake of the devil's breath can make the victim do anything.


Medical Toxicology

CAI, you can do this one.

(✿◡‿◡)CAI: Gladly! I love medical toxicology! It helps save lives! A medical toxicologist diagnoses, treats and prevents poisoning. Alongside, medicine-related health effects, biological agents and environmental or occupational toxins.

Nice to hear CAI.

(✿◡‿◡)CAI: Now it's my turn for a fun fact! Did you know that Theophrastus Bombastus Von Hohenheim (Paracelsus) (1493–1541) was the first medical toxicologist? And- what do you want to say?

No, no- it's just that 'Bombastus' reminds me of bombastic and this image goes so well! He looks like he is side-eyeing someone! Sorry, my bad CAI, continue.

(✿◡‿◡)CAI: Aiza, don't ruin my fun fact! He was the first man who added chemistry to medicine (like minerals)!



There are 5 primary testing methods:

  1. spectrophotometry

  2. chromatographic methods

  3. immunologic methods

  4. gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

  5. special methods for metal analysis

But we'll be going through the bold ones only.

However, sadly, we won't be able to go through all of them in today's episode but fear not, we will go through them in the next episode.


That's all for today! See you next episode and especially the next episode (we'll be doing a crime case).

This is Aiza Jamil signing out!

I am a forensic expert, what's your superpower?

Oh wait before I leave, one last fun fact-

( ゚Д゚ )<!! CAI: NO! AIZA, NO!

Who's your favourite fictional detective?

  • Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christie)

  • Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)

  • Pippa Fitz-Amobi (Holly Jackson)

  • Other (write a comment below and let me know!)


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