The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to avoid pure powdered caffeine sold on the Internet after the death of an Ohio teen.
Even a teaspoon of the powder could be lethal -- it is equivalent to 25 cups of coffee. Eighteen-year-old Logan Stiner of LaGrange, Ohio, died May 27 after consuming it.
The FDA said it is investigating caffeine powder and will "consider taking regulatory action." In the meantime, the agency said it is recommending consumers stay away from it.
Teenagers and young adults may be particularly drawn to the powder, which is a stimulant. Caffeine powder is marketed as a dietary supplement and is unregulated, unlike caffeine added to soda.
Merely 1/16th of a teaspoon can contain about 200 milligrams of caffeine, roughly the equivalent found in two large cups of coffee. That means a heaping teaspoon could kill, said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
FDA spokeswoman Jennifer Dooren said those who drink coffee, tea or soda may be aware of caffeine's less serious effects, like nervousness and tremors, and may not realize that the powdered form 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.
Source: Seattle Times