Balloons-R-Fun is a family-run business that specializes in supplying balloons for a variety of events. We provide colourful and fun balloons for grocery stores and occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and kid parties. Call us to learn about the type of balloons we have in our inventory. As we are associated with The Balloon Council, we strive to educate consumers on how they need to handle balloons. Here are a few interesting and informative reads on balloons and balloon safety.
Balloons—in one form or another—have been around for centuries. But the modern latex balloon was invented in New England during the Great Depression.
A chemical engineer, frustrated in his attempts to make inner tubes from this new product—liquid latex—scrawled a cat’s head on a piece of cardboard and dipped it in the latex. When it dried, Neil Tillotson had a “cat balloon,” complete with ears. He made about 2,000 balloons and sold them on the street during the Boston’s annual Patriot Day parade.
In the late 1970s, silver metalized balloons were developed for the New York City Ballet. These balloons are commonly called Mylar, but they are actually made from a metalized nylon and are more expensive than latex balloons.
Making Latex for Balloons
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 the harmless cuts in the bark. The process is similar to how people collect maple syrup. The use of latex balloons and other products, such as surgical gloves, makes rubber trees economically valuable which discourages people from cutting them down.
Using Foil Balloons after They Lose Their Helium
Some consumers find the designs so neat that they frame them and use them in their children’s room or recreational rooms. They also make for creative wrappings for small-sized gifts.
Balloons-R-Fun Encourages Our Customers to Use and Promote the Following Smart Balloon Practices
Keep helium-filled balloons secured to a weight. A helium-filled balloon should be tied securely to a weight to keep it from releasing into the air.
Never release foil balloons into the air. When your party or celebration has concluded, pop the balloons and dispose them of properly. Although extremely rare, a foil balloon that has flown away could cause problems if entangled in power lines. Foil balloons can also become litter if not disposed of properly.
Keep deflated or popped latex balloons away from small children to avoid risks of choking. Children under eight years can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons; adults should always supervise young children with balloons.
Latex Allergies and Understanding Who's at Risk
Latex allergies present a moderate to serious health problem for a small percentage of the population. Unfortunately, public communication of the latex allergy facts often is mishandled and misleading, causing unnecessary alarm and controversy about latex balloons.
However, the public can rest assured— they’ll not find the lovable latex balloon anywhere near the heart of the latex allergy problem. Here’s the situation:
Small Percentage of Population at Risk
Latex is the milky sap produced by rubber trees. Like many other natural things — bee sting venom, poison ivy, peanuts — latex can cause allergy problems ranging from minor skin irritation to reactions so severe that immediate emergency medical treatment is required to prevent death.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, 94 percent of us probably will never have an allergic (anaphylactic) reaction to latex balloons.
Oddly enough, those most at risk of having an allergic reaction to latex are found in hospitals — doctors, nurses and certain patients.
While the balloon industry is cooperating with the healthcare industry on this issue, patients — especially children — aren’t losing 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 — commonly known as Mylar — that offer a wide range of festive colors, unique shapes and messages that make people feel good.
Balloons and the Environment
The balloon industry operates with an eye on the environment. Manufacturers try to ensure that the organic materials harvested and the production processes are environmentally sound. Retailers — mostly family owned and operated small businesses – try to make sure their products are handled properly by informed consumers. The industry’s efforts are paying off.
According to the annual International Coastal Cleanup report prepared by the Center of Marine Conservation, balloon litter on the nation’s riverbanks and beaches has been steadily reducing. However, in spite of the consistent downward trend, there have been claims and assertions that balloons, especially those used in releases are a major source of litter in these areas.
Is balloon litter really a significant ecological issue? Let’s examine the facts.
Dropping to the Bottom of the Litter List
In 2009, the CMC’s U.S. Coastal Cleanup involved 183,194 volunteers and covered 9,114 of shoreline and underwater miles. Balloons or balloon pieces were found at a rate of 4.19 per mile and accounted for 1.04% of the total debris collected.
By 2011, the CMC’s U.S. Coastal Cleanup grew to 245,317 volunteers and covered 9,120 miles. Although the manpower and coverage increased so dramatically, the amount of balloons or balloon pieces found decreased to a rate of 3.53 per mile. That’s improvement!
Bottom line – balloon litter has never been a significant part of the list of debris, and it continues to drop towards the bottom of the CMC’s list. The declining trend coincides with the industry’s public education programs and is evidence that the packaging information about proper disposal and releasing of balloons is working.
Our Stance on Balloon Releases
A closer look at the makeup of the balloon litter found during these annual campaigns shows that the industry must continue to build consumer awareness through education.
Objectively judging the cleanup data and applying common sense, most open-minded observers examining the facts will arrive at the conclusion that balloons – including mass balloon releases – do not constitute a serious litter or ecological problem. The majority of balloon litter is caused through either accident or carelessness. Even so, public and regulatory agency perceptions are critical and the balloon industry is working to increase consumer’s awareness of good balloon use, safety and disposal management. The industry’s goal is to remove balloons from the CMC Coastal Cleanup litter list. With that in mind, we do not support balloon releases.