Olympic skiers who shredded the slopes in the Great White North last month could not have awed spectators without greasing up with ski wax before their runs. But that essential trick of the skiing trade can come at a high cost.
The journalEnvironmental Science and Technologyreported that perfluorinated octanoic acid ( PFOA) in the blood of professional skiers has been found at concentrations of more than 50 times what's normal. PFOA is linked to diminished fertility and seems to be as attached to the human body as it is to skis: These excessive amounts of PROA in pro skiers' blood barely lowered during the off-season, and are at levels comparable with workers at plants that manufacture the chemical.
If it's that adhesive to biological organisms like us, who know what it could be doing to the fragile ecosystems it's being brought into?