Caffeine: Emerging contaminant of global rivers and coastal waters
Author: Sean Mowbray
Caffeine is the most consumed psychostimulant in the world, and a regular part of many daily lives, whether contained in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, or pharmaceuticals. Partially excreted in urine, it is now ubiquitous in rivers and coastal waters. So much so that its detection is used to trace wastewater and sewage pollution. A new study found it to be in more than 50% of 1,052 sampling sites on 258 rivers around the globe. Another new study enumerates caffeine harm in coastal and marine environments. This continual flow of caffeine into aquatic ecosystems is causing concern among scientists due to its already identified impacts on a wide range of aquatic life including microalgae, corals, bivalves, sponges, marine worms, and ﬁsh. Most environmental impacts - especially wider effects within ecosystems - have not been studied.