The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-06-2001, 09:10 AM
Mr. Blue Sky Mr. Blue Sky is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Every time I see a story about people releasing helium balloons (sometimes with messages attached), I see a letter to the editor about the dangers of doing so. Is there any scientific evidence to back this up?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 10-06-2001, 09:19 AM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: On the dance floor.
Posts: 14,932
What are the dangers that they state in the letters?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-06-2001, 09:20 AM
geepee geepee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
heh i am no expert but i think you may find this interesting

cotraption (A) discarded balloon chokes duck (B} which expires and pollutes pond(C) which kills mino (D) which drives away pied billed Grebe (E) which distresses birdwatcher (F) who contributes to enviromental NGO (G) which lobbies members of parliment (H) which passes a non pollution law in parliment(I) which cuts the profits of various companies (J) which lays off 25% of its staff due to lower profits (K) which includes Stanley Finchley(L) who now has more time to spend with his daughter Steffanie walking in the park (M) who lets go of balloon(N) which goes up into the stratosphere and pops (O) and drops into pond(P) where it catches the attention of duck (Q)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-06-2001, 09:56 AM
Mr. Blue Sky Mr. Blue Sky is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Quote:
Originally posted by Anthracite
What are the dangers that they state in the letters?
The balloons deflate, faal to earth, and choke animals. I mean, what are the odds? If you released several thousand balloons and they fell to earth in a concentrated area, there MIGHT be a danger, but I can't see how a few dozen or even a couple of hundred spread out over thousands of square miles can do harm.

Any experts out there who can explain/verify this?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-06-2001, 09:59 AM
Squink Squink is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
It is possible to create a dangerous situation by releasing helium balloons, but you have to really work at it.
Helium is an inert gas, so that's not going to cause any problems. Balloons are typically made of biodegradable materials so they're not going to be a major choking hazard for nest-building turtles and such. A quick google search on ["helium balloon" danger] came up empty on other possible significant hazards. I'll bet the danger stories are a cover for litter control zealotry.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.