Silca has been dealing with the topic in the industry since they launched their PFA-free lubricant line.
Doesn't matter if you live in rainy Scotland or dry Arizona, lubricant is something that you're going to be using heavily if you ride your bike often. It dries out or it washes away and you'll need to clean and lube again.
But what are PFAs and how do they affect the cycling and natural ecosystem? PFAs are, as the Science.org describes them, Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) [that] have been referred to as “forever chemicals” because of their resistance to most biological and chemical degradation mechanisms.
That means, once you drop them in your chain, you bring them into the ecosystem forever. Sounds dramatic, but it's the reality.
They can be destroyed, and new methods have been found to do it in a cheap and efficient way, but still, some action needs to be taken before the cloth you use to clean the chain is rinsed, or the bike is washed.
In other industries, movies have been even made about it, as there was a very sadly famous case with a pan manufacturer in the US.
But why do we use them to lube our chains? Well, one of the advantages of a forever chemical, is that it won't be broken apart, so will keep on doing its job longer, which means your drivetrain runner smoother longer. Great idea, on the paper.
The bad news are, they have been found even in drinking water– yes once it goes into the ground, their resistance to most biological and chemical degradation mechanisms keeps on making its job.
Silca believes that one of the roles of innovation is also to bring positive impact in the current climate crisis, and as they clearly stated on their website, SILCA wants to kick off the conversation by saying that we don’t NEED PFAS chemicals, and in fact, there are equally good if not superior lubricating technologies that are completely safe and non-toxic.
Lucky us, with the arrival of wax and the consolidation of it as the best lubricant solution, we get rid of a big part of the problem, but there are plenty out there that pretend the conversation doesn't have anything to do with them.