I’m Rachelle Grossman with today’s health
news. A cup of coffee can be an effective pick-me-up, but concentrated caffeine powder
can be deadly. Caffeine powder is an ingredient commonly used in sodas, energy drinks and
dietary supplements, but you can also buy it online. According to The New York Times’
Well blog, that’s how 18-year old Logan Stiner and 24-year old James Wade Sweatt,
purchased the powder. Within weeks of each other, the two young men accidentally overdosed
and died. Pure powdered caffeine is much stronger than that found in a cup of coffee. The New
York Times reports that one teaspoon equals 16 to 25 cups of coffee. About a tablespoon
can be deadly. Both Stiner and Sweatt were unaware of the powder’s toxicity. According
to the FDA, “Pure caffeine is a powerful stimulant and very small amounts can cause
accidental overdose.” Overdose symptoms may include an irregular heartbeat and seizures.
The FDA says parents need to warn their children about the dangers of caffeine powder and groups
are calling for the federal government to regulate its sale.