20 February 2019 | By Matt McDonald | FOX 13 Salt Lake City
BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah — There’s been a lot of snow lately, but there will probably be even more — because Salt Lake City is paying to give Mother Nature a boost.
It’s called “cloud seeding” — shooting tiny particles up in the air, hoping to produce more snow in the mountains.
The reason? Not for better skiing or snowboarding — but to build water resources.
Larger burners are used to vaporize silver iodide and send it up into the clouds. The particles that fly up from the flame form the center of an ice crystal, which then grows into a snowflake and, hopefully, falls back to the earth in Utah’s mountains.
Snow is an important resource when it comes to Utah’s water use throughout the rest of the year.
“Under the guidelines of the Clean Water Act by the EPA, silver iodide is considered a hazardous substance, a priority pollutant and as a toxic pollutant. Chronic ingestion of iodides may produce skin rashes, running nose, headache and irritation of the mucous membranes.”
Link To PubChem – Silver Iodide Toxicity
“The major hazards encountered in the use and handling of silver iodide stem from its toxicologic properties. Toxic by all routes (ie, inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact), exposure to this odorless, light yellow, crystalline substance may occur from its use in seeding clouds for rain-making…
H400 (58.62%): Very toxic to aquatic life [Warning Hazardous to the aquatic environment, acute hazard]
H410 (100%): Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects [Warning Hazardous to the aquatic environment, long-term hazard]”
Thank you to RM for sharing this story with us @ZG!