Although maybe not the tastiest thing in the world, snow has been one of the favorite treats for most of us as kids. Speaking of eating snow, there are even deserts made out of snow, such as snow cream. This interesting desert contains actual snow mixed with dairy based cream.
What most of us know is that snow is just frozen water. Like any form of water, such as that from rivers, lakes or oceans can be polluted, snow can be polluted as well. While falling through the atmosphere, it can pick up dust particles and other impurities in the air. One study that examined the chemical composition of snow in Canada showed that it contains little particles originating from car’s exhaust gases, which snow picks up while travelling to the ground. This research also showed that snow is a great “sponge” for harmful gases and little particles. If the snow has been falling for a while, most of these particles have already washed out (so you can afford yourself a snowflake or two on your tongue).
Colored snow is definitely a big no-no. Mostly we see a yellow snow and probably everyone is familiar with the origin of yellow colored snow. Red or green colors can indicate the presence of algae, which may not be good for you. Other colors to avoid include black, brown, gray, and any snow containing obvious particles of grit or grime. It is definitely a matter of common sense not eating snow around smokestacks, active volcanoes, and radiation accidents (like Chernobyl or Fukushima, it could be radioactive).
Although it’s clear that snow of any other color but white could be potentially harmful for your health, don’t bet on that white either. All that glitters is not gold and all that’s white is not clean.