While many people enjoy the jolt that a morning cup of java can bring, they may not realize that there are dangerous new products on the market — called “caffeine powder” — that contain the same amounts of caffeine in one serving that are equal to drinking 25 cups of coffee. That’s the message that the parents of Logan Stiner, an 18-year-old who died from an overdose of caffeine powder in May 2014, want to get out to others. The LaGrange, Ohio-based father and mother of Stiner are suing Amazon and other sellers of the potent powder, reports CBS News, and holding the retailers culpable for distributing a dangerous product. Dennis and Katie Stiner want people to know how deadly powdered caffeine can be.
According to an ABC News video, the toxicology report stated that Stiner had 23 times more caffeine in his system than a normal coffee drinker. One teaspoon serving of caffeine anhydrous powder can contain the same amount of caffeine found in 25 cups of coffee, giving the user an idea of how much of a caffeine toxicity risk they face if taking the concentrated powder form. It’s a substance that’s popular with teens or those that seek benefits like a quick buzz from the product, which is marketed as a health supplement.
Hard Rhino products can still be found on Amazon, but not the caffeine anhydrous powder featured in the news videos about Stiner’s death. A search for “caffeine anhydrous” on Amazon turns up results including pills and other supplements that don’t appear similar to the powder in a clear bag at the heart of the lawsuit — but clearly state that they contain a pure form of the powder caffeine that promises to provide “the explosive energy enhancing properties of pure caffeine anhydrous” and extra energy, tempting users to take that “high” into the gym with them. Speaking of hearts, however, caffeine powder can potentially raise the consumer’s heart rate and even cause heart attacks or seizures as reported by the Inquisitr.
The fault of the distributing companies and sellers, according to the Stiners, is that they didn’t provide enough of a warning to users about the dangers of the product. Indeed, in an unboxing video from YouTube titled “Caffeine Powder Unboxing [25g Hard Rhino],” the user shows how the package of anhydrous powder he’s received from HardRhino.com could be equal to 800 Red Bulls, but doesn’t state that fact on the package.
“Warning: This is pure caffeine powder. Be very careful in using this product.”
Notably, a search for powdered caffeine on Hard Rhino turned up none.
[Image of caffeine powder via Hard Rhino unboxing video]