Cadernos de Saúde Pública
versão impressa ISSN 0102-311X
FERREIRA, Aldo Pacheco. Caffeine as an environmental indicator for assessing urban aquatic ecosystems. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.21, n.6, pp. 1884-1892. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2005000600038.
This study aimed to evaluate the co-occurrence of caffeine and the extent of its influence as compared to other traditional water quality parameters (microbiological and physico-chemical) in order to characterize it as an efficient indicator of anthropic pollution of urban aquatic environments. Caffeine is an ingredient in a variety of beverages (coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks) and numerous food products (chocolate, pastries, and dairy desserts). Although the human body metabolizes this stimulant efficiently, between 0.5 and 10.0% is excreted, mostly in the urine. Analysis of water samples from the Leopoldina Basin and Guanabara Bay revealed a significant difference between areas not commonly affected by nutrient enrichment or sewage inputs and areas chronically influenced by sewage discharges and elevated eutrophication. Monitoring caffeine will be fundamental in stressed urban aquatic environments where frequent accidental ruptures of sewer lines and discharges of untreated effluents impede effective water quality evaluation with traditional indicators.
Palavras-chave : Aquatic Environment; Pollution; Caffeine; Toxicology.