Balloons & the Environment
Latex Balloons & the Environment
Latex balloons are easily identified by their elastic character & are composed of natural rubber sap & small amounts of non-toxic coagulants & pigments. They are 100% biodegradable. When exposed to outdoor elements, they are completely consumed by soil or water micro-organisms at a rate quicker than experienced by an oak leaf under identical conditions. In much the same way maple syrup is harvested from the maple tree, latex is collected by cutting the tree’s bark, then catching the latex in a cup. Latex harvesting won’t hurt the trees & contributes positively to the preservation of tropical rain forests.
Helium is a lighter-than-air gas used to inflate balloons. It exists in small quantities within the earth’s atmosphere & is mined from underground pools where is accumulates as a by-product of the earth’s production of natural gas. Helium is non-toxic, non-flammable & has no harmful effects on the earth’s environment.
Releases & the Environment
When a latex balloon is released, it rises to a height of approximately 28,000 feet, with the helium gas expanding as it rises. With the temperature dropping to minus 40 degrees at this altitude, the balloon freezes. As the helium continues to expand in the frozen balloon, the balloon undergoes “brittle fracturing” & ruptures into small slivers which scatter & fall to earth. A small percentage of balloons which are released will experience leaks from defects & will not rise high enough to freeze & burst. The distance they travel & their distributions will be determined by current prevailing winds.