FAQ: Fluorinated ski wax and fluoro free products

Why is fluoro in ski wax dangerous and what are the fluoro-free alternatives? Learn more about the topic with these frequently asked questions about skiwax.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions about fluoro in ski wax

    Why do Swix run this campaign against fluoro?

    It is important for Swix to become fluoro-free because it has gradually been well documented that fluoride does damage to health and the environment. We simply want to contribute to a fluoro-free ski sport, and then this campaign is a good start to get rid of the old fluorine-containing ski wax that is still out there.

    Do Swix return ski wax sent from other countries than Norway?

    No, unfortunately not. We only return fluoro wax in Norway at the moment. We encourage everyone to return fluorinated ski wax to your nearest waste management company.

    How do I know that my ski wax is fluoro-free?

    At Swix and Toko, we have symbols on the labels indicating whether the wax contains fluor or not. Fluoro-free waxes from Swix and Toko has this symbol on the label:

    Toko stopped producing commercially available fluor waxes from winter season 21/22. Swix stopped in the season 20/21

    Where do I throw away ski wax that contains fluoro?

    Return fluorinated ski wax to your nearest waste management company.

    Do I have to throw away old ski wax that contains fluoro?

    Fluor waxes produced under the 2020 regulation are still allowed to use in EU countries and Switzerland. If a wax product is produced under the 2020 regulations, it is marked with the “PFC regulated 2020” label.

    Does Swix still produce ski wax with fluoro?

    No, Swix stopped producing fluorinated ski wax before the 20/21 season.

    Does Swix still sell ski wax with fluoro?

    No, Swix has stopped selling fluorinated ski wax through own retail stores and channels. However, some retail stores still offer old fluorinated waxes from Swix. 

    Why is fluoro still used in competitions?

    FIA and IBU prohibited to use of fluoro waxes from the season 22/23. In the season 21/22, it’s still allowed to use. This is because the organizations need first to develop and evaluate a reliable detection device to guarantee a fair and competitive competition environment.

    What is the difference between C6 and C8 chained fluoro?

    C6 and C8 are related to the carbon chain length used for synthesizing the raw materials.

    When does Swix estimate that all competitions are fluoro-free?

    Answer. According to FIS/IBU, the season 22/23 will be the first fluoro free season.

    Why is there so much negative about fluoro in the media?

    In public opinion, per-fluorinated materials are seen as toxic and harmful elements, which can be absorbed into all living species. The total consequences and potential harm to human bodies are not fully understood and evaluated, but some relevant studies indicate effects on human health. The entry of fluoro compounds is not reduced to only ski wax products. Still, much more contamination is caused by other industries like molded foam products, where fluoro compounds are used as releasers to deform the products.

    Is fluoro that bad for both environment and health?

    Yes, fluorochemicals are in general persistent and bioaccumulative. They are one of the major organic pollutants in our society. For more information on fluorochemicals; https://pubs.acs.org/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1021/acs.est.0c03244&ref=pdf

    Is fluoro-free ski wax as good as ski wax with fluoro?

    Yes and no. In some conditions, fluorinated ski wax is better, and fluoro-free products are better in other conditions. New fluoro free products have improved considerable in performance over the recent years. The differences are now very small compared to some years ago

    How does fluoro free ski wax score on Swix’s tests compared to ski wax with fluoro?

    In some conditions, fluorinated ski wax is better, and fluoro-free products are better in other conditions.

    What exactly is replacing the fluoro in new ski wax?

    Advanced hybrid materials and an alkylated dimethicone have replaced fluorinated raw materials in Swix waxes. And yes, the new materials are degradable and non-toxic!

    Which product replaces the previous Swix LF?

    Which product replaces the previous Swix HF?

    Which product replaces the previous Swix Cera powder?

    Which product replaces the previous VR kick wax?

    Why is the price the same for fluoro-free products as it was for fluoro products?

    New high-performance fluoro-free products contain advanced and expensive materials.

    Is there a difference between how to apply fluoro-free and fluoro-containing products?

    Yes and no. It depends on the product. Check out the user instructions or our learning videos on this site.

    Do you need to wax with a mask when applying products that do not contain fluoro?

    Always use a mask when working in a confined space with application methods that generate particles.

    Click here to see what mask you need

    What environmental consequences does fluoro have?

    Many PFAS are classified as PBT (Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic)

    Has Swix always used fluoro in their products?

    No, fluorinated materials were introduced in the late 1980s. However, the majority of the wax from Swix has always been fluoro-free, like the famous V series and our klisters.

    Is fluoro dangerous for a recreational skier?

    You should always avoid exposure to particles and fumes as they can damage the respiratory system. More information on PFAS health impact can be obtained from health authorities.