The New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) has banned the use of pure fluoro ski wax topcoats and is limiting use of paraffin-based fluoro glide waxes for the 2019-2020 season over concerns of health risks.
For several years now, skiers have been warned to wear respiration masks when waxing with fluoros. Fluorocarbons have been linked to cancer, liver damage, birth defects, hypertension, and strokes. A study of Sweden's Vasasloppet found that snow and soil was tainted with fluorocarbons after 30,000 skiers passed over.
The European Chemicals Agency will ban the sale, manufacture, and import of all products containing perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA starting June 2020. Pure Fluoro ski waxes contain PFOA which acts to repel moisture. Most ski waxes in the US come from the Europe, but even US-based manufactures, such as Fast Wax, are experimenting with alternatives to fluoro.
Beside eliminating some of the health consequences, the banning of flouro might make high-end waxing less expensive, easier, and less intimidating to newer high performance skiers.
Here's NENSA's new policy:
The Craftsbury SuperTour, held January 24-26, 2020, is a SuperTour and thus supersedes NENSA’s wax regulations. Ironing of perfluorinated wax products will be permitted at this event.
Simplify your wax boxes – learn a brand(s) and trust your process. Add complexity as you see fit and that your staff can handle without limiting coaching interaction.
Use fluorinated waxes sparingly: select appropriate events and limit the volume and time you spend testing products. Please note many commonly used kick waxes and klister contains fluorinated material and should be used and disposed of in a similar manner to glide waxes.
Wear a respirator or at least a dust mask whenever you are glide waxing: If you are working with any type of glide wax, there are likely fumes and particulates in the air that you do not want in your lungs. Even when scraping and brushing, wear a dust mask to protect your airways.
Collect your wax shavings and contain your dust: Wax waste must be collected in waste containers and disposed of in waste containers properly. All waste material should be disposed of in waste containers on site. Do not brush your wax scrapings on the ground.