Professional ski waxing, exposure and health effects

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STAMI ski waxingFor several years, professional ski waxers have been increasingly worried over health ailments such as coughs, general respiratory problems, asthma-like conditions, chills and nausea after working with ski wax and different kind of ski preparation products.

Physician and researcher Baard I. Freberg at the National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI) in Norway has studied these conditions. The results of Freberg’s work were recently presented in his Ph.D. thesis: “Exposure characterization and pulmonary health effects in professional ski waxers”.

High values of smoke, dust and ultrafine particles were uncovered in the ski waxing cabins when working with different waxing products, and the thesis documents the high values of perfluorinated carboxylic acids in the blood of the ski waxers.

The study also shows that concentrations in the blood of lung-specific inflammatory proteins (pneumoproteins) and a general inflammatory protein (CRP) are changing when working in ski waxing cabins. These findings suggest that working with ski waxing can provide a general inflammation in the body. Lung function measured by both spirometry and diffusion capacity (DLCO) shows a decrease after exposure to ski waxing work operations.

The research group succeeded in developing a specially designed ventilation system which reduced the concentrations of dust and small particles with approximately 80-90 percent during work in the ski waxing cabins.

Baard I. Freberg’s doctoral work has led to changes in working routines with professional ski waxers internationally.LogoSTAMI-Small

Contact: Baard I Freberg, e-mail: baard.freberg@stami.no

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