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Birmingham City Laboratories - Toxicology Section

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Birmingham City Laboratories Toxicology Section provides analysis and advice on:

  • Drugs of abuse
  • Carbon Monoxide in blood
  • Drug overdose
  • Solvent abuse
  • Alcohol in body fluids
  • Quality and independence
  • Interpretation and advice

The Toxicology Section performs analysis for a wide range of drugs and intoxicants on body fluids and tissues. We can respond to your needs for urgent or specialist analyses.

Drugs of Abuse in Blood and Urine
Heroin, Cocaine, Amphetamine, Ecstasy, Methadone and Cannabis are amongst the drugs that are commonly abused. We carry out screening, confirmation and quantification using instrumental techniques such as GC/MS.

Carbon Monoxide in Blood
Accidental poisoning by fumes from faulty gas fires or cookers. Suicides by the use of exhaust fumes.

Prescription Drugs in Blood and Liver
Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs such as Librium,Valium and Amitriptyline, sleeping tablets such as Temazepam, and analgesics such as Codeine and Paracetamol are a few examples of the types of drug taken in excess either accidentally or deliberately. These and many more are tested for on a regular basis.

Solvents in Lungs and Blood
Solvents such as Toluene, Trichloroethylene and Butane are present in glue, cleaning fluid and aerosols and are often abused by teenagers resulting in sudden death.

Ethyl Alcohol in Blood and Urine
Deaths resulting from road traffic incidents involving both motorists and pedestrians, deaths from acute alcohol intoxication and accidents such as falls and drowning where alcohol may have played a part. Also alcohol may be found in combination with other drugs.

UKAS Accredited

UKAS accreditation provides you with independent third party assurance of our competence and in the reliability of the results we produce.



The Laboratory provides a full interpretation service on the significance of the results obtained.

This is designed to be of maximum evidential value to Pathologists, Coroners and the Police. Our scientists are highly trained, experienced and well qualified and frequently appear as expert witnesses in H.M. Coroners and Crown Courts. Advice is given on the viability of performing analyses on various body samples and in unusual circumstances e.g. where decomposition has occurred.

Suitable containers and a sample collection service can also be provided.

For more information or to request our services contact:
Birmingham City Laboratories,
Phoenix House,
Valepits Road,
Garretts Green,
Birmingham
B33 0TD

Tel: (0121) 303 9300
Fax: (0121) 303 9301
e-mail: bcl@birmingham.gov.uk
or use our Online Enquiry Form