On January 15, White County, Arkansas resident Daren Foraday walked outside to play in the fresh snow. No, not with his sled.. but with his geiger counter. What he found, levels of radiation comparable to the kind exposed to workers in a radioactive plant, disturbed him.
Foraday, a self proclaimed “science nerd”, wonders why the citizens exposed to the snowfall weren’t warned of it’s levels. According to Daren, the area around White County generally clocks in at 35cpm in background radiation, but after the snowfall that number was much higher.
“The sleet and snow was showing an alert level above 100cpm,” he wrote. “The high levels only lasted about 24 hours indicating a short half life of the hot particles. This kind of exposure can reduce the immune system and may be the cause for recent spikes in flu and illness in this area and others. We can only assume because the event was short lived is why they are not warning parents to keep there children out of this unsafe wintery mix.”
Dr. Jeff Gaffney, UALR chemistry professor, doesn’t believe that the levels, which have risen as high as 240cpm, are anything to be concerned about about.
“We monitor this stuff all the time,” he told KARK News. “Until you get to tens of thousands of counts I’d stop worrying about it.”
Foraday isn’t convinced, however, insisting that parents keep their children from playing in the snow, or worse, putting it in their mouths.
“Not creating panic or concern seems to be more important than public safety,” he wrote. “Why warn parents exposure to the snow and sleet is equal to flying at 30000 feet or exposure levels for nuclear plant workers right?”
You can check out Foraday’s video of the radiation test below, and remember.. don’t eat the yellow, glowing snow.