Balloon Fun Facts
*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 does not hurt the tree! *Latex harvesting discourages deforestation because latex producing trees are left intact. A tree can produce latex for up to 40 years. *The life of all balloons depends on the atmosphere and the care they are given by the recipient. Latex balloons prefer a cool room and they do not like anything sharp including rough ceilings or rough treatment. Mylar balloons are pretty tough but will look wrinkled and out of shape if it gets too cold. Mylar balloons also do not like really hot weather because they tend to pop their seams. *Helium-filled balloons float because helium is lighter than nitrogen and oxygen, the two components of air. *Float time in latex balloons can be increased 2x – 3x by adding a non-toxic sealant prior to inflating with helium.
Handy Helium info:
- The USA is the world’s largest supplier of helium, with many reserves found in large natural gas fields.
- The rate at which helium is currently being used by humans is much faster than the rate at which the reserves are being replenished. New technologies for obtaining or recycling helium are one way for gas companies to help slow this problem.
- Because helium is lighter than air it is commonly used to fill airships, blimps and balloons. As it doesn’t burn or react with other chemicals, helium is relatively safe to use for this purpose.
- You might notice the helium balloon you got from the amusement park slowly falling to the ground after a few days, this happens as the helium gradually leaks from the balloon.
- Helium has a lifting force of around one gram per liter. A balloon that holds 10 liters of helium should therefore lift an object weighing 10 grams. Unfortunately you’ll need around 5000 of these balloons if you weigh around 50kgs and want to get off the ground.
- Because helium is less dense than normal air, when inhaled from a source such as a helium balloon it briefly changes the sound of a person’s voice, making it much sound much higher. However, breathing in too much helium can be very dangerous, potentially choking people due to a lack of oxygen.