Helium gas is a naturally forming element in our solar system and has many uses outside of balloons, including as aircraft and spacecraft fuel and inside technology, including quantum computers and medical equipment, such as MRI machines.
Balloons are a must-have party item all over Australia, but can be an expensive option. Using the DIY method and purchasing a cheap helium gas cylinder can cut your costs and provide you with cheap helium gas balloons.
Unfortunately, there are some risks associated with helium balloons at parties that are not widely known in Australia.
The dangers of inhaling helium gas
Popular media often depicts characters inhaling from balloons to get laughs. Inhaling helium gas can change the way your voice sounds as sound can travel almost twice as fast through helium gas as it can through normal air, making you sound like a cartoon character. Party-goers around the world regularly inhale helium to achieve the same effect, and in doing so can unknowingly put their lives at risk.
Helium can displace oxygen in your body and cause asphyxiation. Helium gas works in the same way as water does in your lungs when you drown, and even a few seconds of oxygen deprivation can cause serious side effects, including permanent brain damage. Lowering the oxygen concentration in your body by just 18% can be fatal. Inhalation of helium gas can also rupture air sacs in your lungs and cause helium bubbles in your arteries that can travel into your brain or heart causing instant death. Over 75 deaths in Australia between 2005 and 2009 can be directly attributed to the inhalation of helium.
Medical professionals are concerned about the risks that this simple party trick can pose to unwitting people. Steps are being taken in conjunction with the gas industry in Australia to minimise the deaths caused by inhalation of helium gas.
Rent Free Gas is concerned about the misuse of helium, however it is not easy to inform the public about the dangers of the gas with movies and television glamorising the dangerous practice. Helium inhalation is a health hazard, and should not be treated as a joke. For more information or advice call us today on 1300 792 603.