Environmental connections to public health >>
On skiing: Sunny slopes & toxic wax
By Lisa Frack
Just because it's cold when you're on the slopes, doesn't mean you get to ignore the sun. In fact, a recent study of ultraviolet (UV) radiation at high-altitude U.S. ski resorts suggests that winter outdoor enthusiasts should pay close attention to protecting their exposed skin from the winter sun - including using sun-protective clothing (such as goggles and hats or helmets with visors), sunscreen, and lip balm with SPF.
Good thing you can find safer, skin-protective clothes and sunscreen products in EWG's 2010 Sunscreen Guide (plus, we have an Amazon "store" where you can quickly order what you need!). Travelling? Get our handy iPhone app.
And while we're talking about skiing and your health, you should know that ski wax could do more than make you fast - it could harm your health, too (especially if you apply it often or don't know how to use it safely). According to a new study reported in Environmental Health News:
...scientific research suggests that ski wax can expose users to perfluorochemicals (PFCs) that build up in their bodies and may carry potentially serious health risks, including cardiovascular disease, liver damage, hormone disruption and cancer.
Environmental Working Group Senior Scientist Olga Naidenko says the research provides a key piece to the puzzle of how PFCs build up in the body:
"This study is really important because it shows that this process is happening in humans. We already knew that it happens in animals."
The concerns are greatest for professionals who wax far more than the occasional pair of skis. It's something to think about next time you get those skis waxed or consider waxing them yourself.
Want to know more about PFCs? Download EWG's one-page Guide to PFC's - they're found in many more places than the bottom of your skis.