"Snow Burning" YouTube trend not indication of dangerous snow


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. It's been a long and cold winter for much of the country, and some are even becoming so bored with the snow, they've turned to burning it.

Hundreds of people have been experimenting on their own and posting their findings to their YouTube channels. What's happening has alarmed some, as the snow turns from white to black. The reaction has quite a few people thinking there might be chemicals or other toxins in the snow.

But a quick visit to the chemistry department at Colorado Mesa University cleared it up.

"So when you see the snow turning black, it's actually not from the snow, but the reactions of the butane in the lighter and if you smelled it, it would smell like chemicals because you were burning chemicals and producing chemicals in the atmosphere, so that has nothing to do with the actual snow," said Assistant Chemistry Professor Tim D'Andrea.

D'andrea compared the reaction to exhaust coming out of the tail pipe in a car, and the smell that's emitted during the experiment is simply the butane burning off.

For clarity purposes: there is absolutely nothing wrong or dangerous about the snow.


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