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Why Your Kid Probably Shouldn’t Eat Snow (No Matter What Color It Is)

Every kid knows not to eat the yellow snow, but fresh powder is still good eatin’, right? Sorry to ruin everyone’s childhood, but a new study from Canadian researchers (who really know their snow) recommend you limit your daily allowance of frozen precipitation.

According to McGill University chemists the snow on the ground absorbs tiny toxic particles from car exhaust, making it a sulfate-flavored sno-cone, which is an even worse flavor than praline. Researchers came to this conclusion by building a “snow chamber” in their lab, where, instead of playing “Let It Go” on repeat, they mixed natural snow with common car pollutants like benzene. After just one hour of exposure the snow’s pollutant levels increased pretty significantly.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxAceec8DxI expand=1]

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Now the good news: Your kid won’t die from eating snow once or twice a season as long as it isn’t older than a day, brown, or yellow. There are centenarians in Minnesota who pretty much survive on a diet of snow ice cream and lutefisk. Scientists have agreed that it’s ok to eat small amounts. But, if you live in a place with high levels of exhaust-belching traffic, it may be safer just to open your freezer then start scooping from the curb.

[H/T]: IFL Science