Going GREEN at Your Event? Don't Forget the Balloons!
Did you know latex balloons may be the very first GREEN item ever for parties and events? That's right; this original all-natural product will make your guests GREEN with envy - in a good way, of course!
High-quality, decorator-grade latex balloons from Balloons over phillyare 100% Biodegradable!
A natural product extracted from the sap of rubber trees.
Biodegrades at about the same rate as an oak leaf.
A natural way to prevent deforestation because of latex harvesting.
A natural combatant against greenhouse gases, as the more rubber trees we save, we slow global warming.
Latex Balloons - the all-natural choice for your next event!
Where does the latex used in balloons come from? Latex balloons are produced from the milky sap of the rubber tree, Hevea brasilliensis. The rubber tree originated in the tropical forests of South America and was taken to Europe from Brazil. It is now grown on plantations in many tropical countries. The latex is collected in buckets, as it drips from harmless cuts in the bark. The process is much like that used to collect maple syrup. The use of latex balloons and other products, such as surgical gloves, make rubber trees economically valuable, which discourages people from cutting them down.
Are latex balloons biodegradable? Latex is a 100-percent natural substance that breaks down both in sunlight and water. The degradation process begins almost immediately. Oxidation, the “frosting” that makes latex balloons look as if they are losing their color, is one of the first signs of the process. Exposure to sunlight quickens the process, but natural microorganisms attack natural rubber even in the dark.
Research shows that under similar environmental conditions, latex balloons will biodegrade at about the same rate as a leaf from an oak tree. The actual total degradation time will vary depending on the precise conditions. What happens to balloons that fly away? 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.
Are sea mammals at risk? 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.
What about balloon litter? Balloons are not a significant littler problem. During a nationwide 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, The Balloon Council encourages 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. Children under age 8 always should be supervised while playing with latex balloons because of the possibility of them choking on them.
Are there choking hazards with small children? 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:
Adult supervision is required.
Keep uninflated balloons from children.
Discard broken balloons at once.
All domestically manufactured balloons carry a warning label with this information. Click here for more information
Who is at risk from latex allergies? 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. Click here for more information