Competitive skiing and fluorinated ski waxes
PFASs are highly fluorinated man-made chemicals that are used in ski wax for their excellent water and dirt repellence properties, to reduce ski friction against snow. PFAS has gained increased attention globally over the past twenty years, as they are widespread in nature, have been demonstrated in relatively high levels in animals and human blood and have also been linked to a number of health concerns. Read more about PFAS exposure and risks in the context of skiing.
Over this last year, the skiing community has started to take action.
- For winter 2018/19, the Norwegian Ski Association has banned fluorinated ski waxes for children and youth competitions up to age 16. In collaboration with The Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) and Fraunhofer, a test method for PFAS detection has been developed and pilot tested.
- Vasaloppet in Sweden removed all fluorinated waxes from their own ski waxing services for the winter 2019 race and recommended participants to ski fluorine free.
- The Swedish Ski Association has made guidelines for work environment and waste handling of fluorinated waxes, and trialed them in a couple of national races.
- National teams both in Norway and Sweden have contracted new sponsors offering non-fluorinated ski waxes.
- A few smaller ski races and local clubs in Norway and Sweden have trialled voluntary regulations to remove fluorinated ski waxes.
The aim of this survey is to study awareness of PFAS risks in the skiing community and attitudes towards phasing out PFAS in competitive skiing. Your responses are anonymous and cannot be traced back to you as an individual. The survey is led by Lisa Skedung at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden on behalf of POPFREE Ski Goes Global and any questions about the survey can be addressed directly to her (firstname.lastname@example.org).