Snomax is made from a naturally occuring microbe and is therefore a biological material. This microbe is found on all continents of the world, on land, in water and in the air. Each m³ of air contains some 40 of these organism; there can be up to 10 billion on a single tomato. However, Snomax contains no living micro-organisms, so the protein cannot reproduce. A Canadian Government study confirms that if Snomax were used in all Canadian ski areas, there would be no more organisms around than live on 100 tree leaves.

Environmental requirements are of special concern to Snomax. These positive effects of snow production mean savings when it comes to water and energy, both precious resources. We have sponsored numerous studies throughout the world, making Snomax one of the most intensively investigated snow-generation products in existence. Test centers in Canada, Norway, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand, all countries known for their environmental awareness, have approved the sale of Snomax. Independent institutes have come to the conclusion that Snomax has absolutely no negative effects on the environment.

Swiss Biolink Institute

Prof. Richard Braun investigated the use of Snomax for the Swiss Biolink Institute in 1998. He came to the following conclusions:

“Snomax is a biological material whose proteins in small numbers catalyze the formation of ice crystals. It is used on ski slopes as an additive to snow-making water in order to produce better snow at higher temperatures. Snomax is produced from inactivated micro-organisms and is harmless to the health of humans, animals and plants. No negative effects of Snomax were observed on vegetation.”

biolink, Communication on Biotechnology,Report (PDF)

Federal Office of the Environment, Forests and Landscape

The Federal Office of the Environment, Forests and Landscape in Switzerland came to a similar conclusion.

Because Snomax does not contain living bacteria “there is no possibility of effects caused by plant pathogens […].” And further: “The chemical investigation shows that the product contains no harmful substances. The components are mainly organic substances of biological origin such as proteins and amino acids, nucleic acid and carbohydrates. Conclusion It can be assumed there are no negative consequences for the environment.”
The question of degradability was also clarified in the report: “The biological degradability in the environment is complete due to the nature of the components.”

Federal Office of the Environment, Forests and Landscape (BUWAL),Report (PDF)