File this under Things We Suspected Were True, But Didn't Know For Sure: Canadian researchers say that snow includes a variety of nanosized particles, mainly from car exhaust, that are potentially harmful to human health.
In a new study from McGill University, chemists used a snow chamber to investigate what happens to airborne, exhaust-derived particulate matter when Mother Nature sends winter weather blowing through.
The team found that snow is highly effective at capturing said airborne particles -- which is good news as far as air pollution is concerned, but bad news for those of us who spent our childhoods making and ravenously devouring snow ice cream.
Many of the particles captured in the snow were known carcinogens that have been linked to air pollution-related diseases, including benzene, toluene and xylenes.
"As a mother who is an atmospheric physical chemist, I definitely do not suggest my young kids to eat snow in urban areas in general," study leader Dr. Parisa Ariya told The Huffington Post.
If you find yourself in the path of Winter Storm Jonas, keep the snow -- however clean it may look -- out of your mouth!
Ariya's research is published in the online journal Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts.