The weather outside is indeed frightful because the delightful snow is toxic and may harm you. A team of scientists has determined that the composition of the unique and pretty snowflakes is similar to the toxic waste that lies in the area in which the snow falls. So the bigger the city, the more toxic the snow is.
The scientists have analyzed the composition of the snowflakes according to the area in which they fell and it seems that the level of toxicity in the air is equal with that which can be found in the snow. Pollution is transferred into the snowflakes which translates into the fact that snow is toxic and it may harm you.
Doctor Parisa Ariya, an atmospheric sciences and chemistry professor at Canada’s McGill University says that the gases that are released from the exhaust pipes of cars are absorbed by the snowflakes. Because the particles of ice that can be found in the componence of snow have absorption capabilities, they pick up the pollutants in the atmosphere. Dr. Ariya stresses out the fact that due to the surface temperature of the snowflakes, certain unknown chemical reactions could take place, this making the level of toxicity found in the snow even more dangerous.
In order to determinate just how much harmful substances a snowflake can ingest, the researchers built a snow chamber in which they ruled some simulations. The conclusion of the experiments was that the snow particles absorbed the pollutant and dangerous substances from the air, levels of toluene, benzene, xylene and ethylbenzene being highly increased after only one hour of exposure.
The good news in all of this is that, in winter, the snow actually helps clean out the air. So it is good for your health to take a long walk on the snowy paths, just try not to swallow any when engaged in a snowball fight or when you’re building a snowman.
The bad news is that the toxins that were accumulated by the snow will be released back into the environment when the snow will melt. That means that the levels of pollution will drastically increase come spring.
Dr. Ariya is concerned that the highly absorbent properties of snow were neglected so far when the scientists researched the impact level of pollution in different areas. This means that there is a need for further environmental studies to be conducted upon the snowy cities. These are necessary for a correct evaluation of the environmental impact caused by modern day technology.
The conclusion is that even though snow is toxic and it may harm you, you should at least go outside and enjoy the fresh air, while it lasts.
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