Recent actions have been taken by environmental regulatory bodies in Europe and the US to regulate the importation and use of fluorinated materials in ski wax products. However, some companies are being allowed to import since they are not listing banned ingredients. For Nordic athletes, parents, coaches, waxing technicians, team volunteers, and spectators, concerns focus on the potential health implications of exposure and environmental effects of fluorinated waxes — Perfluorinated compounds (PFASs) used in the form of paraffin, powders, blocks, liquids, or gels.
NYSSRA Nordic shares these concerns for the health of its racers — BKYSL, high school, juniors, Mid-Atlantic, and masters across its Nordic racing disciplines. NYSSRA Nordic supports the position expressed by NENSA, USSA, Craftsbury Nordic, and other racing bodies in their Nordic racing wax policies for 2019-2020.
Special concerns are conveyed about no ironing of Perfluorinated finishing waxes (“pure fluoro” top coats – powders, liquids, blocks) in glide zones. This would not include LF and HF wax lines.
The situation continues to develop for Nordic ski competitors everywhere – including New York State. The wax industry has been working to ensure that their chemistry is compliant with new regulations going into effect. They are developing new paraffin formulations with similar ski glide performance without relying on materials posing potential health and environmental risks. As new waxes are brought to market any position or waxing policy will need to evolve.
The 2019-2020 season will be new territory for everyone. While NYSSRA Nordic has not yet banned the use of Fluorinated waxes in NYSSRA Nordic sanctioned races, we are considering as much in the future. In the meantime, we are asking all concerned to consider reducing or eliminating “fluoros” in their waxing routine. With no way to test for Fluorinated wax jobs, we may need to encourage an honor system.
NYSSRA Nordic will follow the leads of NENSA and USSA on these topics. We will continue to review the trends and discuss concerns before making a waxing policy or issuing guidelines for New York State.