What to do with your Fluoros?
by Eric Chandler
Last summer, I called WLSSD and then wrote to the MPCA to ask about fluorinated ski waxes. They have "forever chemicals" in them, and I wanted to know how to keep them out of the waste stream. I'm sharing my email question and answer with you, since you may be interested in what I learned.
I'm not suggesting anything or trying to tell you what to do. As for me, my main concern was to keep them out of the waste stream. Sophie's suggestion is what I'm essentially going with. I'm going to hang on to them until there is more guidance about how to get rid of them. It seems like that might be a while. If you want more information to follow along on this topic, visit this website: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/pfas-in-minnesota
Here's the question I asked of WLSSD and subsequently asked of the MPCA. Sophie gave me her permission to share her response with the club.
Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2022 10:13 AM To: MN_MPCA_General-Info <Info.PCA@state.mn.us> Subject: PFAS in ski wax ________________________________ Dear MPCA, I have a question about PFAS disposal. I have high-end cross-country ski waxes that have PFAS chemicals in them. I live in Duluth and wanted to dispose of them at the WLSSD Household Hazardous Waste Disposal facility here. I called them and they said that PFAS isn’t technically a hazardous material and they may or may not take the waxes if I bring them. Is this true about PFAS? If me and my fellow skiers want to get rid of these materials in our ski wax boxes, how should we dispose of them? Thanks. Eric Chandler Duluth, MN
Hello Eric, Thanks for your question about ski wax disposal – it was forwarded to me (the MPCA PFAS Coordinator) from the general MPCA info inbox. There are currently limited regulations when it comes to disposing of PFAS-containing products. Some PFAS-containing products have high enough levels of PFAS to be considered “hazardous wastes” based on our existing regulations and require specific disposal actions. However, fluorinated ski waxes do not meet those current regulatory thresholds. As such, the MPCA can provide recommendations about disposal, but there are no legal requirements. This regulatory environment is shifting, and we are expecting new federal rules that regulate PFAS as hazardous wastes to be in place in the next few years. I contacted our hazardous waste experts at MPCA, and they recommended you take the products to your local Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program (as you were already exploring). If WLSSD does not take them, perhaps the next best option is to store the wax for a year or so until there are hazardous waste rules and more detailed disposal guidance for PFAS in place. I appreciate that you and others are thinking about the environment when it comes to purchasing, using, and throwing out ski wax! Responsibly disposing PFAS is a tricky problem, and we certainly don’t have all the solutions yet. Have a great day. --Sophie Sophie Greene -- PFAS Coordinator – MPCA email@example.com 651-757-2646 She – her - hers