Read the full article by Madelyn Beck (Boise State Public Radio News)
“Eric Straubhar has worked with ski equipment for decades, learning the ins and outs of the skis, boards, poles and waxes. He manages the rental shop at Bogus Basin, a ski resort outside Boise, Idaho, and has coached ski racing there.
On a recent unseasonably warm February day, Straubhar said it had been a few years since he first heard that PFAS was a problem in high-end ski waxes. He said ‘fluorinated’ or PFAS additives had been in some form or another for decades.
‘There were a myriad of powders and different things, and then waxes,’ he said. ‘And then obviously up until this point in the last year or so where they’ve started to see what the environmental impacts of those additives are.’
PFAS are a class of chemicals that are often referred to as ‘forever chemicals.’ They’re man-made, have circled the globe and don’t break down in the environment — or our bodies. They can cause cancer, disease and depressed immune systems.
These chemicals have been used in everything from Teflon to Gore-Tex to dental floss. But the ski wax industry is hoping to leave it behind.
Racing organizations have started banning the use of PFAS waxes in various races. But even though the products have effectively helped skiers and boarders go faster, Straubhar says there hasn’t been much pushback.
‘If everyone is using similar waxes and you don’t have those fluorinated products out there … the playing field is level,’ he said. ‘So I haven’t heard any complaints.'”…