Boffins issue urgent snow warning as eating fresh flakes could be deadly

We've all been told "don’t eat yellow snow" but now boffins are warning us not to touch the white stuff either.

Even fresh flakes contain a deadly cocktail of tiny rocks, pollution, bacteria, viruses and road salt, a new study revealed. Skiers, sledgers and snowball lobbers have been told to avoid quenching their thirst on the white powder this winter.

The report said: "Seemingly innocent fresh snow can hide small rocks and debris, creating a risk of choking or causing dental damage. These hazards are often invisible to the naked eye, making snow consumption risky.

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"Contrary to popular belief, snow is not always clean and pure. As it falls it can absorb pollutants from the air, including car exhaust and industrial emissions, posing health risks if ingested."

The new research added: "Snow can host a variety of microbes, including bacteria and viruses. While many are harmless, there’s a risk of encountering pathogens, particularly in areas with animal activity or human presence.

"Snow in urban or industrial areas may contain traces of harmful chemicals, such as road salts and industrial by-products. These substances can be detrimental to health – especially when ingested."

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A spokesman for tour operator Ski Vertigo, which commissioned the research, said: "Who among us hasn't felt the urge to taste fresh snow, particularly in our younger days? It’s a classic winter temptation.

"We recommend enjoying the snow visually and engaging in safe winter activities, rather than consuming it."

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