Answers (some) for Ann

kkaye at vax.ox.ac.uk kkaye at vax.ox.ac.uk
Sun Jul 2 17:37:50 EST 1995

Ann writes:

I am interested in studying toxicology or eco-toxicology.
If I graduate with a Dr. degree, what would my daily work be as 
toxicologist (spelling?) or eco-toxicologist?

Depends: if you work on microbial tox tests, or modelling by computers, or
doing chemistry or molecular biology. Ultimately it's a mix of bench work,
statistics and form-filling, then writing reports.

Where do they work?

Toxicologists usually work for pharmaceutical companies, agrochemical
companies, or forensic poisoning investigation centres, usually part of the
government lab systems; sometimes big hospitals have toxicologists on the staff
for either forensic (e.g. criminal investigation work) or for research support
purposes if there are clinical trials or patients with multiple drug therapies

Can a eco-toxicologist work as a toxicologist, and vice versa? 

Not usually

Is there a big difference between those two fields of study?

KJK: Yes. An ecotoxicologist has to know a lot of ecology to interpret data but
has to work with a limited set of methods which conform to EC, USA and Japanese
requirements. A toxicologist per se usually works within protocols designed to
assess human toxicity, which are completely different from ecotox. protocols.

How is the jobmarket in this field (in Europe: mainly Germany, France,
Spain) Germany is good, France is ok, Spain is poor; but every country has to
test its compounds according to the same regulatory frameworks to get the
compounds on the market. Also, old compounds now have to be re-registered. This
will create some business and destroy others.

and Northamerica (Canada)?

Lots of competition for places but lots of jobs too.
Do Hospitals have toxicologists? If yes what do they do? 
Or does one have to be a Dr.med. who is specialized in toxicology?

Are a lot of toxin-tests still performed on animals? 

KJK: Yes. Regulations still require many tests on animals although the numbers
used are much reduced; one or two in-vitro methods are beginning to be
validated and may be accepted to substitute for the old eye irritancy test. For
human exposures, tests have to be performed on reproductive tox, genetic tox,
neurological tox, foetal tox, cardiovascular, kidney, liver and bone marrow
tox. These require animals. 
Which have been replaced, and which are still done on animals?
Does eco-toxicology also require tests on animals? If yes, which?

KJK: Yes: algae, microbes, insects, and fish, generally speaking, and mammals
or avian species also, depending on the product. 

Thank you, I am waiting anxiously for your answers!!! 

You're welcome.
Anne.Lilie at extern.uni-ulm.de 

Dr. Katherine J. Kaye
University of Oxford
kkaye at vax.ox.ac.uk
Anne Lilie
Anne.Lilie at extern.uni-ulm.de

More information about the Toxicol mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net