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Balloon Safety and Myths

 

Colorful balloons floating on the ceiling of a party

Balloons are synonymous with fun. From birthdays to graduation to the 4th of July, they always add the right touch of joy to the occasion.

Well, we hate to burst your balloon, but our favorite floating celebration decoration has also caused a big debate about balloon safety, toxicity, and environmental impact. While this issue has been inflated by a few misconceptions about proper use and disposal of balloons, a quick study of best practices can help keep balloons available in California for safe and responsible fun!

Let’s take a look at some balloon safety myths and good balloon practices.

 

berkeley school color balloons red yellow

MYTH #1: All balloons are toxic for humans and the environment.

False. Latex balloons are made from the rubber tree and are completely environmentally friendly. The latex is as biodegradable as an oak leaf, which means animals have an extremely small chance of choking on them. This does not mean that we should toss our deflated balloons on the ground and pretend they are leaves (even oak leaves take a few years to fully decompose). If your latex balloons end up in the ocean, they can take a year to decompose. Plus, the ribbon is NOT biodegradable, and this is the part that often harms animals. In general, don’t release balloons – reuse the material for other crafts and decoration

 

MYTH #2 Releasing of a Mylar balloon has the same effects as releasing a latex balloon.

False. You might have noticed all Mylar balloons come weighted down. This is meant for more than your convenience and extra decoration. It’s a law. Unlike a released latex balloon that falls back to earth in shards, when you release a Mylar balloon, it goes up, up and up until it hardens and breaks into a flat piece of metal before falling toward earth. If it lands on power lines it could compromise power for whole blocks.

 

MYTH #3 Balloons are dangerous for all children.

False. Balloons are not toxic to touch and are safe to play with, as long as children have supervision. However, this is true for children 3 and under, just like most objects at that age. If a child is biting on a balloon and it pops, the release of pressure can lodge the balloon into their little throats, causing them to choke. For children old enough to know better, balloons are completely safe.

 

MYTH #4 Balloons are bad because releasing helium is a non-renewable resource.

This one has some truth to it. While helium isn’t technically pollution, it’s unsustainable. There is a limited supply of helium, and it would be bad news if we ran out. Helium is needed to operate MRI scanners and LCD screens, so we should be mindful about how many balloons we use.

The more we learn about our favorite things, the more mindful we can be. Celebrate responsibly!

Love balloons? You’ll love our blog post on the history of balloons too!

Ready to order balloons? Check out our balloon ordering guide, and then come on into the store or give us a call at 510-525-1799.

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