Fluorocarbon Waxes to be Banned in the Ski Industry

A few years ago, European ski companies spread the word that perfluorocarbon (commonly referred to as “fluoro”) waxes will be banned from the industry. However, little to no change has come from the result of this announcement. Large companies continue to produce, promote, and sell fluoro waxes to the public and professional technicians. Just recently, FIS and EU announced that perfluorocarbons in wax will be banned as of the year 2020. The USSA is expected to follow suit[1]. Ski resorts have taken their own initiatives, with various cross country resorts banning fluorocarbon waxes on their trails.

Green Ice Wax, being a pioneer in producing non-fluoro race wax for the past 7 years has reported on the dangers of fluorocarbon waxes in prior blog entries. The top three are listed below:

  1. Application of such wax under high heat can cause the breakdown of the fluorocarbon molecules such that they can be absorbed in human tissue through inhalation. Ski technicians who use fluoro wax constantly have been found to have up to 50 times more fluoro in their system[2].
  2. Early research suggested large molecules such as fluoro were inert and did not pose any threats to human health. New research from the EPA found that microorganisms have been able to breakdown these complex molecules into toxic particles[3].
  3. The environment has been negatively affected by fluorocarbon in the water, land and air. The breakdown of large molecules and the precursors used to manufacture fluorocarbons in wax have been found in food, human blood and milk.  Aquatic life has also been affected as fish, seals and sea birds have been found to contain toxic molecules associated with fluorocarbons. Recently, New Jersey became the first state to set hard caps on perfluorocarbons that have been found in drinking water[4].  Scientists postulate that streams and rivers have carried these toxins from the mountains into the surrounding the oceans and reservoirs as the snow melts at season’s end.  Finally, the production of fluorocarbon used in ski and snowboard wax contributes to greenhouse gases and global warming[5].

Let’s be proactive and follow Europe’s decision to phase out fluorocarbons in our ski waxes.

Visit www.greenicewax.com for more information on fluorocarbon-free race waxes, biodegradable waxes and accessories.

 

 

  1. VARA Coaches ED Forum October 2018
  2. https://blog.greenicewax.com/2013/02/10/dangers-of-fluorocarbons/
  3. https://blog.greenicewax.com/2012/06/14/effects-of-fluorocarbons-in-ski-wax-on-humans-and-the-environment/
  4. “Dangerous Chemicals limits set for Drinking Water” Russ Zimmer Asbury Park Press 11/4/17
  5. https://blog.greenicewax.com/2016/10/23/cutting-out-fluoro-wax-can-help-reduce-greenhouse-gases/

2 thoughts on “Fluorocarbon Waxes to be Banned in the Ski Industry

  1. terry says:

    The amount of Fluorocarbon left in the snow is insignificant compared to the fishing industry.
    You are costing a lot of little business people to go out of business who have not participated in this claim. Less than 2 % of the people wax. In most companies the amount used was less than pound over ten years.
    What it did do is save lives and control accidents on the mountain. You now have to take the blame for increased accident and deaths on the mountain. If Fluoro was used incorrectly by a few, the benefits of using it out weighed the benefits.
    Hertel has the only all temperature® ski and snowboard wax. Our fluoro wax was our slowest selling items. All fluoro were expensive. Most skiers are tight asses and the snowboarders are worse.

    • Hi Terry

      Thanks for your interest. I am curious what would make us to blame for increased accidents and deaths? Could you explain? And if your claim that only 2% of people wax, isn’t that a far stretch?

      Also we believe decreasing fluorocarbons in all waxes is beneficial. Any fluorocarbons in the water is unnatural and unsafe. These are small molecules that are difficult for our bodies to filter. With nearly negligible performance advantages and health and evironmental risks associated with use, it makes sense to go with an alertnative wax using safer compounds.

      Many wax companies offer universal temperature wax, not just hertel? It just means the hardness of the wax is appropriate for various temperatures. Under very cold conditions, it is unlikely a universal temperature wax would give you the benefits of a temperature specific wax.

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