What is toxicology? Essay Sample

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Toxicology is the study of substances that cause adverse effects in humans or other organisms. Who was Mathieu Orfila?
Mathieu Orfila was considered the ‘father of toxicology’. He published one of the first written works about poisons and medications. What is strychnine? What symptoms does it cause? Strychnine is a posion that comes from the seed of the strychnine tree. It can be inhaled, consumbed or absorbed through mucous membranes. It causes cramps and stomach contractions. These can resemble seizures. What is percent saturation?

Percent saturation is the ratio of hemoglobin that has been combined with carbon monoxide in comparison to hemoglobin that has been combined with oxygen. What is aconite? What symptoms does it produce?

Aconite is a poison that comes from the aconite plant. It produces a numb or tingling feeling wherever the aconite comes into contact with. Also it causes muscle weakness, abnormal heartbeat and respiratory failure.

Critical Thinking Questions

What characteristics do substances often have that make them attractive as a poison when someone wants to intentionally harm another person? Some characteristics that make them attractive are things such as odorless and colorless and tasteless because Describe three different samples that can be used to test for poisons. What are the advantages and disadvantages of these samples? You can use percent saturation he disadvantage is that this picks up only carbon monoxide, then there is the reinsch test that will pick up most poisons and also you can test for heavy metals. Why are poisons used less today than they were in the past? What factors influenced this change? They are used less today because they can be more easily detected with our new technology. In addition to samples taken from a body, what other information or evidence could point to poisoning as the cause of death? Capsules left on the floor or bottles of the poison left around the crime scene. What are the challenges for forensic scientists in identifying poisons? Trying to figure out if it was really a poison because poisons have the same affect as some natural causes. Also identifying the posion because some can’t be detected.

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