Archive for September, 2010

September is Cancer Awareness Month

As September is Cancer awareness month, Expertox is proud to recognize Eric Helmreich, a 22 year survivor of AML, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and current Lab Technician of Expertox forensic toxicology.  Eric, who received his diagnosis when he was just 2 years old, was the first ontologous bone marrow transplant – meaning he donated bone marrow to himself – at Texas Children’s Hospital, a client of Expertox. 

After winning his battle with cancer, Eric’s family, as well as a small group of other families who endured the drama of childhood cancer, formed the Houston area Candlelighters association,, to provide practical and emotional support to other families battling childhood cancer.  Eric, as he has gotten older, became a valuable member of Candlelighters assisting with many of their fundraising activities and moral support ventures to benefit local families affected by childhood cancer. 

The next event is a weekend camp where entire families affected by a child’s diagnosis come to relax and escape.  Candlelighters covers all the camp expenses for the familes thanks to generous donations at fundraising events such as their annual Golf Tournament at Wildcat Golf Course coming this April 2011.  To assist Eric in his ventures of helping local families please donate to Candlelighters at and/or register to be a blood, organ, and/or marrow donor through the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center at  Nothing can be done to prevent childhood cancer, but much can be done to support those affected.


Common Medications Can Poison My Pet?

Did you know that things you consider to be safe can be very dangerous to your pet? According to the VPI Pet Insurance company, poisonings cost dog and cat owner policy holders almost $7 million over a four-year period between 2005 and 2009.

The number one cause of poisoning was accidental ingestion of medications, human and pet. Wow! The very thing that we take to make us feel better – can hurt our pet. The truth is, with just a little bit of care, this can be prevented. Put all medications up and out of reach from pets (yes, just as you would from little children), keep all lids on the medications. Last year alone, the ASPCA handled over 45,000 calls regarding prescription and over the counter drugs that pets had ingested!

According to the ASPCA, the most common human medications that cause poisoning are the following:

  2. Antidepressants
  3. Acetaminophen
  4. Methylphenidate (for ADHD)
  5. Fluorouracil (for Cancer)
  6. Isoniazid (for Tuberculosis)
  7. Pseudoephedrine
  8. Antidiabetics
  9. Vitamin D derivatives

10.  Baclofen (muscle relaxant)

If you think that your dog or cat has been poisoned, contact the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center hotline at 1-888-426-4435.

Poisoning with Ethylene Glycol (Antifreeze)?

What? You may not have heard of this, but it is more common than you may think.  It is a very deadly and silent killer. Ethylene glycol is a sweet, odorless chemical ingredient found in antifreeze.

According to the Forsythe County News in Cumming, GA there is a case where a lady by the name of Lynn Turner (now deceased) was convicted in 2007 for the poisoning of her boyfriend by using Ethylene Glycol in 2001 and sentenced to life without parole. At the time of her conviction she was already serving a life sentence for using antifreeze to murder her husband in 1995.

According to Tulsa World, Cooper who was a 3-year old German Shepherd in Bartlesville recently passed away from antifreeze poisoning. Cooper was a drug dog with the Bartlesville Police Department. His partner and trainer, Officer Troy Newell kept Cooper in a carefully monitored environment. No one knows for sure whether this was intentional or not however there are rewards being offered for anyone with information.

The important thing to remember is that it only takes a small amount to make a deadly difference to our pets and loved ones. Please make sure to clean up any spills that you may see to avoid this happening to your pets and loved ones. There are tests that can be done; however they must be done very quickly and treated immediately.

Story on Lynn Turner –

Story on Cooper –

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ExperTox® is a recognized forensic toxicology laboratory, combining advanced technology and science with a human heart.

We use our scientific expertise to provide our customers answers to their substance abuse, use and exposure questions.

We focus our personal character on supporting, caring for and understanding what our clients are going through as they contemplate and proceed through the testing process.

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