Find out how different chemicals can affect people and the environment.
What does a Staff Toxicologist do?
Warning: Toxic Substance. Every household cleaner or laboratory chemical on the market carries warning labels of its dangers, side effects, and recommended treatment for accidental exposure. A Staff Toxicologist is a special type of Scientist devoted to testing chemicals and documenting the potential harmful effects they can have on people. Safety is a Staff Toxicologist’s main concern.
If you’re a Staff Toxicologist, lab work takes up the majority of your time. Chemical substances are carefully examined, and tissue samples and cells from plants, animals, and humans are exposed to varying doses of these chemicals. Some substances reside in cleaning products, while others are found in over-the-counter medications. By watching how the tissue responds to the chemical, you discover which are harmful and under what conditions.
Once you have the results, you create a detailed report of your findings and a step-by-step outline of how you carried out your tests. Other Laboratory Technicians may want to replicate your original findings or alter them to test the chemical under different conditions.
Then it’s on to the part of your job that makes the biggest impact: developing adequate warnings and treatment recommendations. Together with government institutions or other organizations, you decide what the public needs to know about the risks of taking a particular medication or spraying that strong cleaner on their windows. Knowledge is power, and in this case, it’s also safety.