Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wide Awake Fish

Who says Starbucks doesn’t have a global impact? National Geographic reported earlier this summer that caffeine was detected in the seas of the Pacific Northwest. But don’t get too cocky East Coast readers; caffeine was also detected in Boston Harbor. I guess at some point those pesky colonists switched from dumping tea to coffee in the Commonwealth’s public waters. And two+ decades ago in doing work on trace contaminants in the environment, I came across a study that had found caffeine in the Delaware River water. So NatGeo can’t claim first dibs on the information (and Al Gore, don’t even think of going there). Actually of course, all the caffeine originates in wastewater, one way or the other. So the root cause, as we might say in the quality circle world, is not roots but beans and their extracts guzzled by us Dunkin’s Donuts/Tim Horton/ Maxwell House consumers and, shall we say, “released” back into the environment.   

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