All of humanity are coffee addicts, and apparently we won’t stop until we have every creature on land and sea hooked. Via EurekAlert!:
A new study finds elevated levels of caffeine at several sites in Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of Oregon—though not necessarily where researchers expected.
This study is the first to look at caffeine pollution off the Oregon coast. It was developed and conducted by Portland State University master’s student Zoe Rodriguez del Rey and her faculty adviser Elise Granek, in collaboration with Steve Sylvester of Washington State University, Vancouver.
Caffeine is found in many food and beverage products as well as some pharmaceuticals, and caffeine pollution is directly related to human activity (although many plant species produce caffeine, there are no natural sources of the substance in the Northwest). The presence of caffeine may also signal additional anthropogenic pollution, such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other contaminants.
“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,” says Granek. Previous studies have found caffeine in other bodies of water around the world, including the North Sea, the Mediterranean, Puget Sound, Boston Harbor, and Sarasota Bay, Fla.