Temperatures are dropping, snow is falling and skiers are waxing their skis for another season gliding down Colorado’s iconic mountains.
Those waxes, however, may be toxic.
Some ski waxes contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS — a label for thousands of types of manufactured chemicals that do not break down in the environment. As that toxic wax glides along the snow, it slowly flakes off. As the snow melts into water, it carries the tiny deposits down into Colorado’s water supplies.
Humans who are exposed to PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” are at risk when the substances build up in the body. They can cause decreased fertility, increased risk of some cancers and suppressed immunity.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has focused more intently on ski waxes in recent years, though little has happened on the state or local levels to address the toxic waxes in Colorado — home to 28 downhill ski resorts, and even more nordic centers, that millions of skiers visit every year.
Read the rest from our partners at The Denver Post.