This past summer, Park City and Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District found Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) in our local groundwater and wastewater. PFAs are known as “forever chemicals” because of the amount of time it takes them to decompose and are found in various products including nonstick cookware, cleaning products, food wrappers and containers, clothing, and cosmetics. The PFAS polluting the local water systems are likely to be from fluorinated ski waxes also called fluorocarbon waxes used for Nordic skiing, Downhill racing, and recreational skiing.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned PFAS prior to the 2022 Winter Olympics and while local shops haven’t carried fluorocarbon ski waxes for several years, they continue to be sold online and are likely still in many skiers homes and garages. As an environmentally conscious community, the pollution from PFAs to our local water is a reminder that we live, work, and play on our local groundwater aquifer.
As a skier and a community member, you can help keep PFAs out of our water system by identifying if your ski wax contains is fluorinated and properly disposing of it if it is. Fluorocarbon ski wax will state fluorocarbon, fluoro, high fluoro (HF), or low fluoro (LF) on the packaging. If you own fluorocarbon ski wax, stop using it and bring it to Recycle Utah to be disposed of properly. The next time you purchase ski wax, ensure that it’s fluoro-free and if you ever have any questions, you can always reach out to your local ski shops or Recycle Utah!
By Addison Marr