Skiers leaving ‘forever chemicals’ on pistes, study finds

By Helena Horton | The Guardian | January 25, 2024

Read the full article by Helena Horton (the Guardian)

"Skiers are leaving “forever chemicals” in the snow on ski slopes, a study has found.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – a group of 10,000 or so human-made chemicals widely used in industrial processes, firefighting foams and consumer products – are colloquially known as “forever chemicals” due to their persistence in the environment; they do not easily break down.

Some PFAS have been linked to cancers, thyroid disease and problems with the immune system and fertility, as well as developmental defects in unborn children.

The research by the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen and the University of Graz in Austria has found that 14 different types of PFAS chemicals, which are commonly used in ski wax, were found in soils at family skiing spots in the Austrian Alps at levels far higher than in areas not normally used for skiing."