Q. What are balloons made of?
Foil balloons are a bladder made of nylon that is covered with a layer of aluminium.
Latex balloons are made from the sap of rubber trees - a completely natural substance.
Q. Are the balloons biodegradable?
Foil and bubble balloons are not biodegradable. Latex balloons are. Latex balloons break down when exposed to the elements of nature.
Q. How long does it take for a latex balloon to biodegrade?
Oxidation is the first step in the breakdown of a latex balloon and it begins within approximately one hour of inflation. Oxidation is visible in latex balloons, as they start to develop a cloudy appearance. This is most evident when the balloon is exposed to direct sunlight, heat or normal outdoor conditions.
Research was carried out with a variety of balloons under various conditions to accurately gauge the time needed for the latex to degrade. Results from this study indicated that the decomposition time for latex balloons is about the same rate as an oak leaf (6 months).
Q. Is there are shortage of helium and, if so, should it be used for balloons?
Helium is a natural gas and there is only a limited amount of helium in the world. Helium has many uses, one of which is it's use in the medical profession for MRI scanners. The helium used in balloons (referred to as balloon gas) is a by-product of the liquid helium used for MRI scanners. Please see the attached leaflet for more information.