News

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

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/why-the-world-is-running-out-of-helium-2059357.html

http://www.geek.com/science/geek-answers-why-are-we-running-out-of-helium-1589334/

http://www.news-mail.com.au/news/Helium-balloon-releases-concern-environment/504446/

http://www.tcetoday.com/~/media/Documents/TCE/free-features/870helium.pdf

http://seaturtlefoundation.org/marine-debris-projects/

http://balloonsblow.org/impacts-on-wildlife-and-environment

http://www.tcetoday.com/~/media/Documents/TCE/free-features/870helium.pdf

Topics:  environment




Book characters come to life

CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Principal Charlie and the Umpa Lumpa staff at St Josephs School Bundaberg.Photo: Paul Donaldson / NewsMail

Favourite book characters on show at school

UFO alert: 'strange yellowish glow'

"The object didn't seem to move but seemed to hover," the spotter said.

"The object didn't seem to move but seemed to hover”

Bikie Laws: Katter MP compares bikie logos to burqas

Outlaw motorcycle gang colours and logos would be outlawed under the proposed changes.

"Are you going to become the fashion police?"

Latest deals and offers

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m