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Following Teen Death, FDA Warns of Powdered Caffeine

Jul 23, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning the public about the potentially fatal risks of pure powdered caffeine sold online. According to NBC News, the warning is prompted by the death of Logan Stiner, 18, of La Grange, Ohio. Agency officials say that Stiner died on May 27th after consuming the product.

The caffeine powder is extremely concentrated. One teaspoon, which is equivalent to 25 cups of coffee, can be deadly. The powder is being investigated by the FDA, who says it will “consider taking regulatory action.”

The stimulant powder may be especially enticing to teenagers and young adults, the FDA said. However, the product is dangerous because it is not regulated by the FDA since it is marketed as a dietary supplement. This different from caffeine in food products, such as soda.

FDA spokeswoman Jennifer Dooren says that less serious effects of caffeine, such as nervousness and tremous, may already be known amongst tea, coffee and soda drinkers. What consumers may not realize, says Dooren, is that powdered caffeine is a pure chemical. "The difference between a safe amount and a lethal dose of caffeine in these powdered products is very small," she said. People experiencing a caffeine overdose may experience rapid or erratic heartbeat, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea and disorientation.

The FDA also cautioned that “It is nearly impossible to accurately measure powdered pure caffeine with common kitchen measuring tools and you can easily consume a lethal amount.” Consumers should stop using caffeine and seek medical care if they believe that are having an adverse event related to its use.

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