Forensic Toxicology (Poisoning)

By @forensicfield


Poisons are substance that cause harm in living organism , such as; Human, animals and plants. This usually occurs because of the chemical reactions or other activity.

In forensics Poisons are commonly involved in homicidal, accidental, or suicidal cases.


Poisoning is also categorized in 4 sub-category on the basis of their uses, activity and circumstances.

  • Accidental Poisoning
  • Homicidal Poisoning
  • Suicidal Poisoning
  • Miscellaneous Poisoning

Accidental Poisoning

The accidental poisoning commonly takes place as A result of the negligence and carelessness. The common accidental poisoning cases are:

A.) Coal is allowed to burn in A room giving rise to the production of poisonous carbon monoxide gas.

B.) There is A lots of cases of negligence, where workers go into untended well or gutters and die due to the presence of poisonous gases.

C.) Use of insecticides in large amount, many times may cause the death of farmers or workers due to the accidental inhalation.

D.) Overdose Of Medicines / Overdose Of Barbiturates / Duplicate Medicine

G.) Allergic Conditions.

H.) Bites By Poisonous Snakes And Insects.

I.) Accidental Cattle Or Animal Poisoning Cases.

Homicidal Poisoning

  • Tasteless and odorless properties.
  • Miscible with liquid.

Some poisons are mainly used for homicidal purposes, such as;

  • Arsenic Salts,
  • Mercury Salts,
  • Cyanides,
  • Sodium Nitrite,
  • Methyl Alcohol,
  • Dhatura Seeds,
  • Phosphides, etc.

In certain parts of the world, opium is used as infanticidal poison.

Suicidal Poisoning

Some poisons are mainly popular for suicidal purposes because of their common availability in house or the working place like;

  • Cyanide in electroplating units.
  • Insecticidal  compounds mostly available with farming communities.
  • Sodium nitrite in dyeing industries.
  • Barbiturates are normally used by the people.

By injecting anaesthetic agents like Thiopental.

Miscellaneous Poisoning

Cases of poisoning other than the explained before, are prevalent all over India which are caused by shocking agents. The intention behind this is to stupefy the person and commit robbery or other crimes.

However, many times person dies because of overdose. These poisons are;

Cigarettes containing Dhatura, Cannabis, drugs, arsenic etc.; sweets containing phenobarbitone or other psychotropic substances like lorazepam, etc.

Some times, chloral hydrate mixed with drinks is also similarly used.

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