Warning on pure caffeine powder after death of Blackheath man Lachlan Foote

A Blackheath father has spoken out about the dangers of pure caffeine powder, after the NSW Coroner found his son Lachlan Foote had died from caffeine toxicity.

Lachlan died unexpectedly 18 months ago, the day before his 22nd birthday.

Lachlan had returned home to Blackheath about 1.45am after a few drinks celebrating new year's eve with friends in Katoomba. He gave his mum Dawn a hug and wished her a happy new year before making himself a protein shake. He told his friends in a Facebook message that his protein shake tasted bitter, and then went to the bathroom, where he blacked out and never regained consciousness, dad Nigel Foote told the Gazette in January 2018.

The family has now learned that Lachlan innocently added too much pure caffeine powder to the protein shake, probably obtained from a friend or colleague as there was no trace of purchased caffeine powder on bank statements.

"A teaspoon is lethal, the equivalent of 25-50 coffees," Mr Foote said.

"It appears the pure caffeine powder was bought by someone else and shared, so it's very likely that Lachlan never got to read the warning label on the packet and was unaware of its potency."

Too much of the caffeine powder can trigger an overdose or a heart attack.

"The thought is always in my head, what if another of his friends was given some and they have it sitting in the cupboard somewhere - we've got to protect the community," Mr Foote said.


He said the Coroner's finding, released last week, had come as a shock, but now they wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the risks of taking pure caffeine powder.

"It should be banned or on prescription or in capsule form. People can't make the same mistake with pills. It's definitely got to be stopped like they did last year in America [banning the product]. I want the regulations tightened up or it banned all together," Mr Foote said.

"It's just insane that something so dangerous is so readily available. Please warn your friends, talk to your children, and perhaps check your kitchen cupboards. Pure caffeine powder looks just like any other white powder, but a heaped teaspoon of it will kill you.

"I want the truth to be out there ... for Lachlan's sake and so that it won't happen again. Maybe his death will benefit someone else."