Archive for the 'Toxins' Category

ExperTox Opens New Lab

Have you ever wondered how a true forensic lab runs? If you are in the Houston area, we would like to invite you to visit us at our Open House on June 16, 2011. See more information at the link below.

Open House Invite

Our state of the art laboratory was designed by President Loretta Anderson and RGR Partnership, LTD and constructed by Tribble and Associates Contractors. The new lab space has over 3100 square feet with the option to utilize an additional 5000 square feet of off-site storage as needed.

The lab was designed with optimal work flow, employee convenience and with environmental sensitivity in mind.  There are separate departments for accessioning, specimen preparation, screening, EIA, ELISA, Heavy Metals ICP-MS, GC/MC, LC/MS, extraction hoods and analyzing (test data). In addition, there is a dedicated department for Certifying Scientist for reporting results.

 

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Electronic Cigarettes, Will it Catch On or Stay a Fad?

Did you see the crazy episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, when a dinner party guest was smoking an electronic cigarette? Since then, electronic cigarettes have become a hot topic with bloggers and the FDA. So what is the appeal and benefit of electronic cigarettes?

Currently the FDA is appealing the initial ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon. The judge’s decision gives the FDA no authority to regulate or stop electronic-cigarette makers Smoking Everywhere Inc. and NJoy from entering the country.

The FDA’s fight is to ensure these electronic cigarette companies, with products that contain tobacco, are marketing their products correctly and not as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco.

ECigarette is the only alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes that addresses your habit of having something in your hand and in your mouth without containing tobacco or nicotine.

From our research it seems that most electronic cigarettes are being marketed as a safer alternative even though some still contain nicotine. These electronic cigarette websites still have this warning label in small print at the bottom of the webpage:

Warning: Nicotine is highly addictive. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat,  cure, or mitigate any 
disease or condition. You must be over the age of 18 to buy and/or use this product with a nicotine option. If 
you have a demonstrated allergy or sensitivity o nicotine or any combination of inhalants, if you are pregnant or 
breast feeding, or if you have heart disease, diabetes, high bold pressure, asthma, consult your physician 
before using this product.

Although, these electronic cigarettes do eliminate the dangers of second-hand smoke so you can smoke around others without causing ill effects.

Electronic cigarettes emit a virtually odorless vapor that simulates actual smoke, but dissipates quickly in the air. This enables smokers to smoke these electronic cigarettes in places where regular cigarettes are prohibited. One website even advertised that you can smoke these cigarettes in bed and not bother your partner.

Actress, Katherine Heigl, recently appeared on David Letterman and smoked an electronic cigarette raving about the benefits. Watch the video here.

Do you think this electronic cigarette fad will catch on or fizzle out?

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:

  1. NSAIDS
  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.

K-2 on the Houston News

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I saw this clip on the news and thought I would share it as it directly relates to the previous blog.

http://www.khou.com/home/Doctors-concerned-over-possible-link-of-K2-heart-damage-100529464.html

Summer is Here…Protect Your Pets!

Its hot and pets want a cool drink, don’t leave toxins around that they can get into. There are many household items that can actually harm our pets and we want to protect them. ExperTox can test for pet poisoning. Read more about one common type of poisoning at  http://ow.ly/2ewta.

Will the Oil Spill Effect You?

By now just about everyone has heard about the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We are now into the second month of oil spilling into the waters. How will this effect you? If you are not an off-shore worker you may be thinking “probably not much”. You may be wrong. Because this particular spill is actually located nearly a mile below the surface of the water, it’s toxicity effects the entire ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico.

There is plentiful life in the deep sea that’s in danger: fish, deep-sea corals, gelatinous zooplankton like jellyfish, and benthic-dwelling sharks, not to mention the diverse communites of shrimp, crabs, worms, and other critters that live there. “It’s like a lush jungle down there,” Joye says. (Dr. Samantha (Mandy) B. Joye, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia) Even if oil exposure doesn’t kill these organisms, it could have chronic, long-term effects, like impaired growth or reproduction. Over time, any impact on the deep-sea communities is likely to have more broad effects, since the whole ocean is connected by various biological processes. “All the different zones of life are interactive in one way or another,” says Lisa Levin, a marine ecologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

What this means is that in the short term, workers and residents close to the spill will be exposed to vapors produced, or released by the oil and associated gases. In the long term, workers, residents and those who eat food from the Gulf of Mexico could be exposed to a food supply contaminated by oil by-products such as arsenic, lead, mercury, zinc, chromium-6 and other toxic elements.  Will this be enough to actually harm a person? At this point no one really knows – it is too soon to tell.


One Source…Numerous Options…Differences That Matter!

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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