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Major advances in analytical toxicology followed the introduction of spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques and thin layer chromatography remains important together with some spectrophotometric and other tests. However, gas- and high performance-liquid chromatography together with a variety of immunoassay techniques are now widely used. The scope and complexity of forensic and clinical toxicology continues to increase, although the compounds for which emergency analyses are needed to guide therapy are few. Exclusion of the presence of hypnotic drugs can be important in suspected 'brain death' cases. Screening for drugs of abuse has assumed greater importance not only for the management of the habituated patient, but also in 'pre-employment' and 'employment' screening. The detection of illicit drug administration in sport is also an area of increasing importance. In industrial toxicology, the range of compounds for which blood or urine measurements (so called 'biological monitoring') can indicate the degree of exposure is increasing. The monitoring of environmental contaminants (lead, chlorinated pesticides) in biological samples has also proved valuable. In the near future a consensus as to the units of measurement to be used is urgently required and more emphasis will be placed on interpretation, especially as regards possible behavioural effects of drugs or other poisons. Despite many advances in analytical techniques there remains a need for reliable, simple tests to detect poisons for use in smaller hospital and other laboratories.
Related Journals to Analytical Toxicology:
Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology, Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology, Journal of Ecology and Toxicology, Journal of Clinical Toxicology, Toxicology: Open Access, Journal of Medical Toxicology and Clinical Forensic Medicine, Journal of Drug Metabolism & Toxicology and Journal of Forensic Toxicology & Pharmacology.