Four reasons helium balloons are deadlier than you may think

1. Helium, which is used for medical purposes, is running out

Helium is a non-renewable resource. Scientists have expressed conerns because the earth's supply of the gas is getting shorter and shorter.

Estimates give us about another 25 years before helium is expected to run out.

The product, while used in party balloons and other novelties, is also used by scientists and in the medical field for MRI scanners and other machines and can be used to help save newborn babies' lives.

However, some say medical professionals and scientists are already moving away from its use in order to find other, more sustainable resources.

2. Balloons can kill our wildlife

Wildlife carer Judy Elliott said she was dead against the practice of balloon releases at events and memorials.

"It's mainly the ones in the water that are in danger because the balloon looks like food and animals like turtles can ingest them and die," she said.

Turtles can face death by starvation because of their gut being blocked by deflated balloons which are often mistaken for jellyfish.

According to the Sea Turtle Foundation, biodegradable balloons can still take up to six months to decompose.

3. Balloon ribbons can pose a danger to animals too

Birds and even cattle have been known to be killed through choking or being strangled by stray balloon strings.

4. Helium can - and does - kill humans

Inhaling helium is more dangerous than people might realise, with almost 100 Australians dying from helium inhalation in the past decade.

A new advertising campaign fronted by Australian actor Michael Caton and backed by the gas supply companies, is hoping to educate the public about the harmful effects associated with the popular party trick of inhaling the gas to get a high-pitch voice.

If the concentration of oxygen is decreased below 18% within the human body, symptoms and signs of asphyxia can occur.

Helium gas can totally displace the available oxygen and if this is maintained for even a few seconds, asphyxia and death can and will occur.


Further reading

Topics:  environment

Foot stomping, eclectic gig coming to Bucca

GIG: 8 Ball Aitken will play at Bucca Hotel this weekend.

Blues artist plays at Bucca Hotel

Power outage hits Avoca

Ergon Energy crews are en route.

Local Partners

Calendar sales help community

A JOINT project between two Bundaberg groups will bring benefits to the entire community.

Foot stomping, eclectic gig coming to Bucca

GIG: 8 Ball Aitken will play at Bucca Hotel this weekend.

Blues artist plays at Bucca Hotel

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Queensland's oldest pipe band needs your support

ALL THINGS CELTIC: The Bundaberg Caledonian Pipe Band is coming to the Moncrieff.

"Keep Bundaberg's Scottish band entertaining for many more years”

Experience all the razzle dazzle of '20s

Melissa Western will perform a 1920s spectacular show at the Paragon Theatre this weekend.

Stage show will have you in a flapper

Hugh Laurie receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Blake Lively hosts 40th party for Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively throws husband Ryan Reynold's 40th birthday bash

What's on the big screen this week

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S latest superhero Doctor Strange makes his debut.

Trump 'worked like hell' to pick up John Travolta's wife

John Travolta and Kelly Preston

Trump wrote comments in tribute to Travolta's son Jett

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E11 - top three battle it out

The Bachelorette finalists, from left, Matty Johnson, Lee Elliott and Jake Ellis.

It's Matty, Lee or Jake. Who will Georgia choose?

Drop in rental vacancies for Bundaberg

ALL OVER: The decline was across the state.

Encouraging signs for market

6 houses in Gympie under $200,000

$170, 000, 9 Norman St, Gympie

These Gympie houses are perfect for investors or first home-buyers

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available