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Continued from Releasing Balloons & The Environment:

Balloons are not a significant litter problem. During a nationwide ( U.S. ) beach cleanup in 1992, volunteers collected more than 614,433 bottles and cans, but found fewer than 32,000 balloon pieces. These pieces—collected over more than 4,600 miles of shoreline—would fit inside four trash bags.

However, we encourage consumers to dispose of balloons—like all products—properly. We support putting weights on all helium-filled balloons to keep them from floating away accidentally and ask consumers to put deflated balloons in the proper receptacles.

Balloons & Health: ( Special thanks to the Balloon Council )

It is important that consumers be aware of suffocation hazards to children under eight years old — who may choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. We recommend: 1. Adult supervision is required 2. Keep uninflated balloons from children 3. Discard broken balloons at once.

Latex allergies present a moderate to serious health problem for a very small percentage of the population in the United States. Reactions to naturally produced latex (latex is a milky sap produced by rubber trees) may range from minor skin irritation to reactions so severe that immediate emergency medical treatment is required to prevent death. Incidentally, those most at risk of having an allergic reaction to latex are in the medical arena —doctors, nurses, dentists, technicians, and certain patients. These people are exposed to latex gloves and equipment which has latex on it. However, patients need not lose out on the joy and entertainment balloons bring to a hospital room. Since the late 1970s, the balloon industry and its retailers have been providing synthetic, metallized balloons that offer a wide range of festive colors, unique shapes and messages that make people feel good.

We would like to thank Qualatex and the dedicated people at The Balloon Council for the preceeding information. We hope you learned a few things. For more information into the health and environmental issues surrounding balloons and balloon products, feel free to visit the home of The Balloon Council.

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