Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I'm tired of BEER GAS !!

How about a 1 year old who ate at least 2 tablespoons of ground coffee.

What is the toxic dose of the caffeine in this volume of ground coffee?

posted by joe @ 5/23/2006 05:24:00 PM   7 comments


At 8:12 AM, Blogger Clay said...

Thanks, beer gas was good but I am glad to have something else to look at.

Your question is confusing. I think you should say, "Is there a toxic dose of caffeine in this volume of ground coffee?", or "What volume of ground coffee contains a toxic dose of caffeine for a 1 year old?"

I'll be back later with my guesstimation.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Clay said...

Here is an article on intentional caffeine poisoning in an infant with a table of known pediatric overdoses and outcomes to start with.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger joe said...

The question we needed to ask was how much caffeine is in 2 tablespoons of ground coffee. We picked up dose of 35mg/ kg as a toxic dose, but our resource was "freqency asked questions about coffee". We could not find any thing else.
The dose and elimination of caffeine varys with age apparently(younger--newborns get rid of it much slower).
As you may know the peds guys are using it in preterm babies to "keep them awake" so they don't stop breathing.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Clay said...

Yes I found the Coffee and Caffeine's FAQ's page and it uses 150 mg/kg as the LD50 for all people and then states that 35 mg/kg can cause moderate toxicity in small children.

Also the page lists the caffeine content of various beans and blends in terms of percentage so that could be used to determine the amount of caffeine in 2 tbsp of ground coffee.

At 4:59 PM, Blogger Clay said...

I have used this page to determine that 1 lb of dry ground coffee is roughly 5.25 cups. Then converting 1 lb to 454 grams and 1 cup to 16 tablespoons, I came to the conclusion that 2 tablespoons of dry ground coffee is equivalent to 56 grams. If from the information given in the above link (coffee faq's) I assume that the ground coffee had a caffeine content of 1.2%, I get a figure of 681 mg of caffeine in 2 tablespoons of ground coffee. If the child is an average sized 1 year old male then he might weigh about 10.5 kg and therefore the level of consumption would have been about 64.9 mg/kg.

Does that make sense? Well a cup of brewed coffee contains about 100 mg caffeine.

The can of coffee at my office says use 1 tbsp for a 6 oz serving. So that would mean that by brewing 2 tbsp, you would get 200mg caffeine, I could easily see that variation in coffee types and brewing process could allow a range of 200-300 mg per tbsp of brewed coffee. That would mean that the figures I have produced would make sense only if half of the caffeine content remained in the ground coffee following the brewing process.

My final semi-scientific approximation is that 2 tablespoons of ground coffee contains between 300 and 600 mg of caffeine. For a 10.5 kg child, that would be 28.6-57.1 mg/kg caffeine, which looks like that would be enough to produce at least moderate toxicity according to the coffee and caffeine faq's page.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Clay said...

So is that the end of the discussion bossman? I think I put too much time in on those calculations to have them stand without further comment.

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Alex Perrone said...

That 300-600mg prediction doesn't make sense. Almost all of the caffeine is absorbed in the coffee as it is water soluble.


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