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We have recently moved these pages to the newly created Q & A section of our site, for your convenience. Here, you will be able to find some answers to questions that may arise when you are contemplating decor for your next party. Questions, for example, about balloons and their float times or the environmental issues related to releasing balloons outdoors. This section will provide you with as much information as we can gather, in hopes of settling to rest some myths about the party and event decor industry and balloons as a decorating tool.

We would like to thank Qualatex and the dedicated people at The Balloon Council for a lot of the information pertaining to balloons.


Helium Safety Precautions:

» Click for detailed HELIUM SAFETY AND SPEC SHEET

  • DO NOT allow anyone to inhale helium from the filling equipment or from balloons. Rapid suffocation can take place by reducing the concentration of oxygen in the air necessary to support life. Inhaling helium causes headaches, dizziness, labored breathing, and eventually unconsciousness, which could cause serious lung damage which could result in death.
  • DO NOT leave cylinder unattended in a public area.
  • DO NOT use leaky equipment.
  • ALWAYS secure the cylinder to prevent it from falling over.
  • ALWAYS use the cylinder cap, for aluminum tanks make sure there is a cylinder handle, when transporting cylinders. If cylinder falls and the valve breaks, the cylinder can act like a missile and cause injury or damage.

    Balloon Safety:

  • Balloons are not intended for children under 3 years old. Balloons that have not been inflated can cause suffocation if swallowed.
  • Children should never inflate helium balloons without adult supervision.
  • Certain institutions, such as Childrens Hospitals, will not allow latex balloons in the building because of a concern over the choking hazards involved when a young child puts a piece of latex in their mouth. For these types of places, mylar ( foil ) balloons are a much better alternative - they last longer and are much safer; please inform yourself with the hospital administration prior to sending balloons of any kind.
  • Although safer for children, mylar ( foil ) balloons do require certain precautions. The foil used in mylar balloons conducts electricity. A few stray mylar balloons released outdoors may come in contact with electric cables and as a result, potentially cause damage and/or power loss to affected properties. Mylar balloons should be used indoors and be properly weighted to prevent their release in the air. The same applies to regular helium-filled balloons attached to metallic curling ribbon. California law prohibits the use of foil/metallic string or ribbon, or other attachments that conduct electricity, with helium-filled latex or foil balloons, regardless of whether the balloons are for indoor or outdoor use. Foil balloons and metallic ribbon has been known to cause power outages when balloons become entangled in power lines.
Balloon Facts: ( Special thanks to our friends at Qualatex, our choice for balloons )
  • Qualatex latex balloons are made from 100% natural latex — not plastic. Their latex balloons are biodegradable, and decompose as fast as an oak leaf in your backyard!
  • Latex balloons come from rubber trees. Latex is collected by cutting the tree’s bark, then catching the latex in a cup. Latex harvesting doesn’t hurt the tree!
  • Latex balloons are Earth-friendly! Rubber trees grow in rain forests. Latex harvesting discourages deforestation because latex-producing trees are left intact. A tree can produce latex for up to 40 years!
  • If the sound of a balloon popping startles you, you’re not alone. A bursting balloon actually creates a small sonic boom! Once a hole is made in an inflated balloon, the quick release of the balloon’s energy, or air, causes the hole to grow at almost the speed of sound in rubber. Since this speed is much higher than the speed of sound in air, the hole in the balloon actually breaks the sound barrier, creating a sonic boom.
  • Balloons were invented in 1824, the same year as the electromagnet.
  • Helium-filled balloons float because helium is lighter than nitrogen and oxygen, the two components of air.

    Balloon Origin: ( Special thanks to the Balloon Council )

    Balloons, in one form or another, have been around for centuries. But the modern latex balloon ( the kind you can blow up yourself ) was invented in New England during the Great Depression.

    A chemical engineer, frustrated in his attempts to make inner tubes from this new product, (liquid latex ) scrawled a cat’s head on a piece of cardboard and dipped it in the latex. When it dried, Neil Tillotson had a “cat balloon,” complete with ears. He made about 2,000 balloons and sold them on the street during Boston’s annual Patriot Day parade.

    In the late 1970s, silver metalized balloons were developed for the New York City Ballet. These balloons are commonly called Mylar, but they are actually made from a metalized nylon and are more expensive than latex balloons.

    Releasing Balloons & The Environment: ( Special thanks to the Balloon Council )

    Often latex balloons are released either on purpose or accidentally. Research shows that most of these latex balloons—the ones that are well-tied and have no structural flaws—rise to an altitude of about five miles, where they freeze, breaking into spaghetti-like pieces that scatter as they return to earth. While we do know that animals occasionally eat these soft slivers of rubber, the evidence indicates that pieces ultimately pass through the digestive system without harming the animal.

    Although many stories have been repeated about sea creatures dying from balloons, extensive research by the industry and reporters has yet to verify one such story. In one study of 439 dead sea cows over an 8-year period, Cathy Beck of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service did not find a single balloon inside a single deceased sea cow. The most frequently cited case is one in which the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, NJ found a balloon in the intestinal track of a dead sea turtle. Bob Schoelkopf, the director of the Center, has said himself that the balloon could not be identified as the cause of death.

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