FIS postpones full implementation of fluorocarbon wax ban

PARK CITY, Utah — The International Ski Federation (FIS) announced in a statement over the summer that a full fluoro wax ban implementation will be postponed to the 2023/2024 season. The postponement allows for additional time to refine the fluoro testing device, and to define the procedures which protect the integrity of FIS competitions.

The ban is intended to reduce risks to human health and the environment coming from chemicals found in fluorocarbon products used in the preparation of skis. The chemicals go onto the snow and when the snow evaporates the chemicals are left behind, in the air, in the water and in the ground. 

Wax techs will wear gloves and masks when applying some flouros from their liquid jars. While environmental concerns dominate discussions, down the list of concerns is the fact that at mid-level competitions, the faster flouro wax can be cost-prohibitive for certain demographics of athletes.

Extensive testing of the fluoro detection device, together with experts from National Federations and the International Biathlon Union (IBU), led to the conclusion that more time was needed to check new fluor-free waxes to provide accurate results. The testing of these new products is underway.

FIS will increase the systematic collection and testing of samples during the upcoming season 2022-23. The close cooperation with the National Federations and the IBU will continue to help to further refine the detection system and define the practical implementation processes and regulations which will ensure the fair implementation of a full ban of all fluoro waxes for the season 2023-20242023/24 winter season.

U.S. Ski and Snowboard

said in a statement that it, USA Nordic, U.S. Biathlon, U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing, U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing, U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding, Alpine Canada, Canada Snowboard, Freestyle Canada, Nordiq Canada, Biathlon Canada, Nordic Combined Canada, Ski Jumping Canada, and industry wax representatives have been proactively working towards agreements regarding the banning of flourocarbon wax products.

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