Every career has its ups and downs and entry problems, even my field of toxicology. You can love what you do and still look longingly at other fields. It is not harmful to daydream, so to speak. When you stay with what you know after making comparisons, it validates and intensifies what you do.
Toxicology involves lab work. It doesn’t have to be if you manage the staff or teach in a university. When I first looked at “Careers in Toxicology” on line I saw everything from toxicology software programmer to “Clinical Lab Scientific Specialist.” No matter the name of the position, a toxicologist generally studies the negative effects of chemicals on living beings, from organisms to humans. You can observe and report symptoms, detect causes, and suggest treatment for toxic substances. Some people think you are a poison specialist. Toxic agents can be found in nature as well as drugs and products. Ingesting a particular element may cause great harm. In children, it can disturb their growth. In adults, it can cause discomfort and illness, even death. It is a vital subject. Now you have my intro and have an inkling why I love my job.
As a result of my awareness of evil lurking in one’s immediate environment, I am super sensitive about how I keep house and am hygienic by nature. I am also intense about the cleanliness of the lab. In both places, I require strict adherence to top standards and at work to OSHA rules. In addition to the usual cleaning products (mine are green and toxic free of course), I have a bagless vacuum standing by. I selected it after reading about it on The Vacuum Challenge. With this model, you can grab dust and dirt, and even suck up liquid spills with a special brushless attachment. It is a hose attached to the main unit with a nozzle on the end.
If you use a HEPA filter in your own vacuum, you are in sync with me. Sometimes I think that there are so many pollutants in the air that we should wear them over our noses and mouths. Ha! It would look odd. People would think there was an epidemic going on like a flu outbreak. I can tell you that most toxicologists are insistent on a better quality of air. Many use humidifiers and other appliances that clean the atmosphere. There are so many scary stories out there about breathing problems. Living in a smog zone means you are inhaling death.
I hate to be grim, but after all, toxicology is about ill health. If something is toxic by nature, it can’t be good. Labs are dedicated to determining the degree of harm a certain chemical agent can have. There are subspecialties within the field such as clinical, occupational, medical, forensic, and environmental toxicology. In some scientific lab research, rats or “surrogates” are used to determine toxicity. The results are then applied to humans. This is how it works, in a nutshell.