Caffeinated Seas Found off U.S. Pacific Northwest

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The Pacific Northwest may be the epicenter of U.S. coffee culture, and now a new study shows the region’s elevated caffeine levels don’t stop at the shoreline.

The discovery of caffeine pollution in the Pacific Ocean
off Oregon is further evidence that contaminants in human waste are
entering natural water systems, with unknown consequences for wildlife
and humans alike, experts say.

sampled both “potentially polluted” sites—near sewage-treatment plants,
larger communities, and river mouths—and more remote waters, for
example near a state park.

Surprisingly, caffeine levels off the
potentially polluted areas were below the detectable limit, about 9
nanograms per liter. The wilder coastlines were comparatively highly
caffeinated, at about 45 nanograms per liter.

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