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Park City bans ‘fluoro-wax’ that pollutes water with chemicals

Photo of a person skiing down a snowy slope
Alex Lange

Park City is now banning a certain type of ski wax after “forever chemicals” were found in the city’s drinking water.

Fluorinated wax also known as “fluoro-wax” is a type of wax used for racing and high-performance alpine or cross-country skiing. Richard Hodges, the Nordic director at White Pine Touring Center, explains that the wax is water repellant and is very effective at breaking friction on snow.

Over the past few years though, the wax has been banned in local competitions and even in the 2022 Olympics due to environmental and health concerns. Carolyn Wara, executive director of Recycle Utah says that once the wax gets in the water, it will never go away.

Last month, Park City banned fluoro-wax after PFAS compounds were found in groundwater wells. The Environmental Protection Agency says that compounds found in these “forever chemicals” can increase the risk of cancer, decrease fertility, and even cause developmental delays in children.

Park City is encouraging skiers to ditch the wax and drop off any traces of it to the Recycle Utah organization or White Pine Touring Center so it can be properly disposed of.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.