A toxicologist is a scientist who tests bodily fluids and tissue samples during autopsies to determine the presence of toxins or chemicals. They work in laboratories and use various methods to locate toxic levels of drugs or other poisons within the body. If it is determined harmful agents are present, a toxicologist will measure the levels found and identify if it likely contributed to the death of the patient. Additionally, many toxicologists work to help solve criminal cases and will testify in court on behalf of their lab findings.
Advanced education is required to become a toxicologist and a graduate degree in forensic science, chemistry, toxicology or related field is necessary. Depending upon the state of employment, a professional certification through the American Board of Toxicology may be required. Meticulous attention to detail and strong analytical skills are required to excel in the position of a toxicologist.
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