Health problems related to smoke and pollution in the ski waxing rooms have attracted increased attention in recent years. Leading researchers in this field come from Sweden and Norway. Invited by Inggard Lereim, head of medical and anti-doping for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Oslo 2011, these researchers presented their latest results for doctors, head coaches and leaders of the team service teams in a special research seminar on the topic held in Holmenkollen on 22nd February.
Independently, the studies led by Helena Nilsson, Örebro University and Baard Freberg, Oslo University, respectively, have documented similar results.
Pollution and smoke in the air in the waxing cabins shows levels of particles up to ten times above what is permitted in industrial working spaces by the Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority. The waxing smoke causes inflammation in the lungs and decreases lung functions, according to Baard Freberg.
The common use of fluorinated compounds is a concern. Particles created by waxing are so small that when inhaled they pass from the lungs directly into the blood and can aggregate in the body to a concentration that amount to a hundred times the normal value. The time to exit the body for some of them can be several years. Long-time health effects are at stake.
The use of professionally equipped waxing rooms has decreased levels of smoke by 95 %. The Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority has decided that all waxing cabins at Oslo 2011 must have proper ventilation to protect the service teams’ health.
For further information contact helena.nilsson(at)oru.se or Baard.Freberg(at)stami.no
Contributed by Roger Olsson, FIS Medical Supervisor, Oslo 2011