If you're hitting the slopes this season, environmental blogger TreeHugger is passing along word: use an environmental ski and board wax, which they say is not only better for the environment but for you as well.
Reported on January 28, high-performance ski waxes contain high concentrations of perfluorochemicals, or PFCs, while cheaper products used by amateurs often contain PFCs in lower concentrations. While the jury is still out on just how hazardous PFCs are for your body, several studies point to problems. One study cited by TreeHugger showed PFCs altered the liver and spleen of rabbits, and found that the PFC particles were retained in vital organs. Another study found that PFC levels in pregnant rats and mice caused developmental problems in their offspring.
Research is especially troubling if you're a professional ski wax technician, with a couple of studies pointing to higher levels of PFCs in the bloodstream of those who handle the stuff every day. Environmental health watchdog Environmental Health News states that wax technicians working for World Cup ski race teams had median levels of PFCs that were up to 45 times higher than the general population's.
Again, while under debate, PFCs aren't known to do the environment any favors either, because the compound is very stable and doesn't break down in soil, sediment, or groundwater, states TreeHugger. The Minnesota Department of Health states that PFCs have been found in the blood of fish, bald eagles, and mink.
Some PFC-free waxes to try are Green Wax, the best known on the market and made from natural, organic ingredients, completely biodegradable, and the packaging is recyclable. Other eco- and health-friendly options include Purl, Beaverwax, and Enviro Mountain Sports.
Watch a video on how to use Green Wax: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNFm39laNPI