Norway Wants To Ban Fluoride Wax In Youth Skiing But Does Not Know How To Control It

The public opinion battle is raging on in Norway regarding the ban of fluoride waxes in youth sport.

The fight for outright ‘fluorforbud’ is as it’s know in Norwegian is led by the activists of the Tøffest uten fluor ( “Toughest Without Fluoride”) campaign.

The campaign was launched by the two popular ski clubs, Holmen IF Langrenn and Asker Skiklubb, with a strong demand: a complex ban on using fluoride waxes in all the U17 competitions. It’s unclear why the age limit is set at 16+ but probably because after that the best skiers start competing internationally where such a ban is not on the horizon,

The arguments against flouride could be summed up in two categories:

– fluoride waxes, especially high fluoro powders, are extremely expensive – with parents having to pay the costs, it puts many promising young skiers at disadvantage
– fluoride is a dangerous poison.

The second argument runs much stronger in Norway. No less a figure than Vegard Ulvang, the head of the FIS cross-country committee has spoken in favor of the ban:

“Fluoride is expensive, complicates things and weakens recruitment to skiing,”

Norwegian environmental agency is running an ad, featuring evil ‘Per Fluorert’, scary looking skeleton on skis, holding a presumably fluorinated ski wax in his hand with a helpful caption:

“Starting the ski season soon? Take the time to greet Per Fluorert in the video, before you meet the little devil in real life!

Djevelen ligger i detaljene.

Starter du skisesongen snart? Ta deg tid til å hilse på Per Fluorert i filmen, før du møter den lille djevelen i virkeligheten!

Posted by Miljødirektoratet on Thursday, October 19, 2017

So, everybody wants fluorowaxes to go away then. There is, however, a big glitch in that plan: as of today, there are no reliable test methods to determine whether skis were clean or otherwise. Which, naturally, opens the possibility for, well, cheating.

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The decision is at the hands of the all-powerful Norwegian Cross Country Committee led by Torbjørn Skogstad https://www.skiforbundet.no/langrenn/kontakt/langrennskomiteen/

The committee members met last week to review three options:

1) Prohibition supported by controls
2) Prohibition without control – in other words “honor-based”
3) No prohibition.

At the end, the decision ….was to postpone the decision, while keep on looking for reliable test& control methods.

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