The Marsh Test Apparatus (above)  was one of the first ways to detect poisons

Mathieu Orfila also known as the "Father of Toxicology"

A History Of Toxicology

   Forensic Toxicology has been around for hundreds of years. First Nations Shamans have been studying the poisonous plant extracts for thousands of years as an example. The first recorded start of Forensic Toxicology in the nineteenth century. The first book written about Forensic Toxicology was written by a Spanish chemist and physician who is known as the “Father of Toxicology” Mathieu Orfila. He wrote “Traite Des Poisons” in 1814. This book classified the poisons favored by criminals. Another break through was in 1836 when Albert Swaine published a textbook called “Elements of Medical Jurisprudence”, this book was the first textbook written about the theory of Forensic Toxicology. That same year English chemist James Marsh discovered an accurate way to detect arsenic in the body, this method is the basis of what we use today.

   Today one of the leading Forensic Toxicologists is The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) president Olaf H. Drummer, who is currently based out of London. Dr. Drummer has based his whole life around the fascinating study of Forensic Toxicology.