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Ski Wax Toxicity

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Ski Wax Toxicity

For those of us looking forward to the skiing season there is an issue we need to consider before we gear up for the fun

For those of us looking forward to the skiing season there is an issue we need to consider before we gear up for the fun. What kind of wax will we use from now on?

Since the 1980s, ski wax manufacturers have been using perfluorocarbons (PFCs) in their wax. PFCs were considered ideal additives for ski wax because they are water repellent and have low friction coefficients. However, it has now been shown that their risks far outweigh their benefits. PFCs break down into perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a man-made chemical which has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, and organ damage in laboratory animals. This chemical finds its way into the environment when excess wax is thrown in the garbage or when the thin membrane of wax on a ski is gradually worn off on the slopes. With the melting of snow in the spring, the toxic PFOA is carried into our water and most sensitive habitats.

Although we can’t undo the harm that’s been done, we can stop contributing to it by choosing to use environmentally friendly ski wax.

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