Teen's death highlights dangers of powdered caffeine - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Teen's death highlights dangers of powdered caffeine

Just days before his graduation, 18-year-old Logan Stiner was found dead in his home. Doctors say he took a lethal dose of caffeine powder. Just days before his graduation, 18-year-old Logan Stiner was found dead in his home. Doctors say he took a lethal dose of caffeine powder.
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

Caffeine is such an ordinary part of many people's days that most don't consider it dangerous.

But ever since an Ohio teen died of a caffeine overdose, the stimulant has been in the spotlight.

Tama Sawyer, a clinical toxicologist who heads the University of Kansas Hospital's Poison Control Center, said the form of caffeine that killed that teen is easy enough to come by.

"You can buy this on Amazon for $12.95," Sawyer said.

She says those who've died have ranged from late teens to early 50s.

"We're talking about really rapid heart rate, where the heart can't keep up," Sawyer said.

Just days before his graduation, 18-year-old Logan Stiner was found dead in his home. Doctors say he took a lethal dose of caffeine powder.

But this isn't a teen party craze. It's marketed for mental alertness – energy people can sprinkle on anything – and it's potent.

A teaspoon is the equivalent of at least 32 mugs of coffee, depending on what size mug people use.

It's not the only powdered form of caffeine out there. There are drink mixes containing caffeine.

But those are in measured bottles or pouches. The pure powder has to be measured by people themselves.

Sawyer said that is likely the cause for the overdoses.

"I'm thinking it's just a lack of label reading," Sawyer said. "You get this stuff it's in a powder and you think, 'I'll start with a teaspoon, see how I do with that.' And that's way too much."

A suggested serving of the pharmaceutical-grade powdered caffeine is 1/16 of a teaspoon. That's a minute amount and not one easily measured with kitchen-store measuring spoons, which rarely get that small.

Expert opinion varies about how much of the powder caffeine would be needed to kill an average adult.

One toxicologist gave an estimate of two to three teaspoons. Sawyer said one teaspoon could kill.

"One dose that high and you could be in the emergency room and possibly die," Sawyer said.

Especially dangerous would be having the powder near children. It would take much less to kill a child.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

  • Headlines from Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Fulton & Monroe CountiesNewsMore>>

  • Supporters of the Affordable Care Act rally against possible repeal

    Supporters of the Affordable Care Act rally against possible repeal

    Friday, March 24 2017 12:12 AM EDT2017-03-24 04:12:04 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    It's been seven years since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. And for those affected or simply in support of the law, that was something worth celebrating.

    More >>

    It's been seven years since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. And for those affected or simply in support of the law, that was something worth celebrating.

    More >>
  • First Alert Forecast: Temperatures to soar on Friday!

    First Alert Forecast: Temperatures to soar on Friday!

    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    Temperatures will soar into the low 70s on Friday. 

    More >>

    Temperatures will soar into the low 70s on Friday. 

    More >>
  • Toledo announces precautionary boil advisory due to malfunction

    Toledo announces precautionary boil advisory due to malfunction

    Thursday, March 23 2017 11:27 PM EDT2017-03-24 03:27:51 GMT
    (Source: AP Images)(Source: AP Images)

    An electrical malfunction in the High Service Pumping Station at Collins Park Water Treatment Plant resulted in uneven water pressure throughout the system this afternoon, according to Toledo city officials. 

    More >>

    An electrical malfunction in the High Service Pumping Station at Collins Park Water Treatment Plant resulted in uneven water pressure throughout the system this afternoon, according to Toledo city officials. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly