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Toxicology

LGC offers the full spectrum of forensic toxicology services either as standard packages or bespoke solutions to include other aspects of LGC's extensive forensics expertise.

Standard services include fast, cost-effective, high quality analyses of body fluids and tissues for commonly abused drugs and alcohol in relation to social welfare testing and traffic offences. 

Other services are tailor-made to meet the needs of individual cases such as drug-facilitated sexual assault, suspected poisonings and sudden or unexplained deaths. These involve the analysis of a wide range of body fluid and tissue samples taken from minute traces of drugs and poisons, and sub-therapeutic levels of medicines, and interpretation of the results in the specific case circumstances.

Our close working relationship with the largest group of forensic pathologists in the UK gives us access to forensic pathology services, an in-house histopathology laboratory and extended expertise in more unusual fields of forensic archaeology, anthropology and entomology.

This powerful combination of expertise enabled us to undertake groundbreaking work in the case of Chantelle Taylor. Chantelle had been addicted to heroin and, although her body was never found, we were able to demonstrate the presence of heroin metabolites in insect remains at the premises where she is thought to have died. This evidence was instrumental in establishing that she had been murdered by her lodger.

LGC also has a dedicated Coroners Toxicology team which provides a scientifically comprehensive toxicological service for Coroners throughout England and Wales. They assist in investigating unexplained deaths which can address a number of issues including:
  • Was an overdose of a drug taken?
  • Could the presence of a number of drugs that interact, including alcohol, account for death?
  • Was the deceased taking the correct dose of their prescribed medication  such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants?
  • Were any substances detected which may have affected the deceased’s behaviour, judgement or ability to drive safely?
  • Do the toxicological results support a given scenario?
Not all tests will be relevant in each case but Coroners need to be able to access the full range of toxicological services to reach a reliable conclusion.
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