Drugs, Poisons, and Chemistry

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Drugs, Poisons, and Chemistry traces the fascinating history of forensic toxicology. Although forensic chemists and toxicologists are concerned primarily with drugs and poisons, they examine different types of evidence. Forensic chemists in crime labs work to determine whether potential evidence might be an illegal substance and examine samples-including fire debris, soil, paint, glass, explosives, and fibers-obtained from crime scenes. Toxicologists examine blood, saliva, urine, and feces evidence, using analytical chemistry to identify chemical traces and unmetabolized drugs, often working in labs associated with a medical examiner's office or a hospital. The tools and techniques used by forensic chemists-ranging from the familiar, such as the microscope, to the more obscure, such as the use of antibodies to detect toxins-are also discussed. Throughout the book, sidebars on notable cases, personnel, and a variety of forensics issues reinforce the text.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816055104
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/2008
  • Series: Essentials of Forensic Science Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xv

1 History and Pioneers 1

Paracelsus: A Grandfather of Forensic Toxicology 2

Arsenic 4

The Case of Mary Blandy 7

James Marsh and the Marsh Test 8

M. J. B. Orfila: The Father of Forensic Toxicology 11

2 Scientific Principles, Instrumentation, and Equipment 13

Early Analytical Techniques: Wet Chemistry 13

Gold 15

Chemistry of Color 18

William Brooke O'Shaughnessy: A Pioneer in Pharmacology 23

Flow of Forensic Analysis 27

Thin-Layer Chromatography 27

Development of Instrumental Techniques 31

Microscopes: Moving Light 31

Walter McCrone and Microchemistry 35

Hyphenated Instruments: Separation and Detection 36

Spectrophotometry: Instruments and Electromagnetic Energy 38

Microspectrophotometry 44

Immunological Methods in Toxicology 46

3 Toxicology: Drugs and Poisons in the Body 50

Measuring Toxicity 52

The Most Toxic Substance? 55

Other Factors in Toxicity 56

Absorbed Poisons 60

Pharmacokinetics and Toxicokinetics 62

Types of Samples and Analysis 66

Areas of Forensic Toxicology 67

Sports Toxicology 72

Poisons 75

4 Forensic Drug Analysis 79

What Is a Drug? 79

Systems of Drug Classification 80

What a Difference a Century Makes 81

Classification by Schedule: The Controlled Substances Act and Listed Chemicals 86

Drugs as Evidence 88

Diluents and Adulterants 89

Profiling 90

Examples of Illegal Drugs 93

5 Conclusions: The Future of Drugs, Poisons, and Chemistry 100

Glossary 103

Further Reading 109

Periodic Table of the Elements 114

The Chemical Elements 115

Index 116

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