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Caffeine Pollution Found in Ocean Waters July 27, 2012
Cape Lookout, Oregon
The waters off Cape Lookout, Oregon, were one area where higher concentrations of caffeine were found.
The discovery of elevated levels of caffeine at several locations in waters off the coast of Oregon has led researchers to believe that while wastewater plants are effective in removing the stimulant from effluent, it can still escape into the environment.

Researchers from Portland State University say that the high caffeine concentrations coincided with heavy rainfall and sewer overflows nearby, which allowed contaminants to flow into the sea.

Caffeine is an ingredient in many popular foods and beverages, and low levels of it have also been found in the waters of the North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Puget Sound, Boston Harbor and Florida’s Sarasota Bay.

While concentrations were very low, researchers believe the stimulating pollution does impact the marine life it reaches.

“We humans drink caffeinated beverages because caffeine has a biological effect on us — so it isn’t too surprising that caffeine affects other animals, too,” said Portland State University professor Elise Granek.

Photo: File