Pictures of Mount Everest lead us to believe the famous mountain and surrounding areas are pristine. Not the case, according to University of Southern Maine student Bill Yeo.
Weatherwise Magazine reports that while in college, Yeo collected soil and snow samples while hiking on Everest. At elevations between 5,330 and 6,550 meters, snow samples were collected on the northeast ridge.
From the samples, Soil Survey Horizons found levels of arsenic and cadmium exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant levels. As Yeo climbed higher, the more polluted the soil samples became, suggesting toxic substances were carried there from industrialized Asian locations.
High-altitude winds carried the pollutants there. Hikers throughout the Himalayas have been advised not to consume snow at higher elevations. Fastcast: Record heat?
Scattered showers after 1 p.m. Partly sunny and hot. High near 95. Heat index values as high as 107. Rain chance: 40 percent. Tonight: 20 percent chance of showers. Low around 77. Southerly winds 5 mph.