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Toxicology Department

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Toxicology is the scientific study of the adverse
effects of drugs and chemicals on living things. Forensic toxicology is that application where the adverse toxicological effects have medicolegal consequences and the findings are likely to be used in a court of law.

The Franklin County Coroner’s Office Forensic Toxicology Laboratory determines the presence or absence of drugs and chemicals in human tissues and fluids. Such investigations assist the Forensic Pathologist in the evaluation of toxicological implications regarding the
death of an individual.

The Forensic Toxicology Laboratory’s mission is “To provide thorough, accurate and timely toxicology testing results for the Forensic Pathologist of the Franklin County Coroner’s Office, as well as regional coroners, law enforcement agencies, and to apply our collective resources and abilities to assist in the solution or interpretation of forensic toxicology problems and issues.”


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The Franklin County Coroner’s Office Forensic Toxicology Laboratory is an industry leader in testing scope ensuring thorough and comprehensive results. The Franklin County Coroner’s Office Forensic Toxicology Laboratory is accredited by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology that is based upon compliance with professional standards as assessed by peer review, including onsite inspections and successful achievement in proficiency testing programs. The Franklin County Coroner’s Office Forensic Toxicology Laboratory provides timely results by exceeding the National Association of Medical Examiner’s toxicology completion time guidelines.

The Franklin County Coroner’s Office Forensic Toxicology Laboratory is equipped with two liquid chromatograph tandem mass spectrometers and four gas chromatograph mass spectrometers, which allow the laboratory to accomplish its mission. Attesting to the toxicology staffs’ ability, four of the laboratory’s scientists have earned Board Certification in Forensic Toxicology by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, based upon their personal and professional record of education and training, experience, achievement, and a formal written examination.

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In 2019, the Franklin County Coroner’s Office Forensic
Toxicology lab was awarded The Paul Coverdell
Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program. The
Coverdell Program awards grants to states and units of
local government to help improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner/coroner services. Additionally, in 2019, the
Franklin County Coroner’s Office Forensic Toxicology
Laboratory was one of 14 laboratories the American
Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD)
awarded with the Foresight Maximus Award, a distinction recognizing the top performing forensic laboratories in the world based on Foresight business metrics.

Toxicologists at the Franklin County Coroner’s Office
Forensic Toxicology Laboratory are available full time for consultation with Forensic Pathologists for interpretation of results, ordering additional tests, and ultimately documenting the scientific truth.

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