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PostSubject: Beware of Flying Balloons...   Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:31 pm

Just want to share an article by a dear friend Kathleen Dela Merced... please read on...

You've seen it on TV, read it in the newspapers, been warned through the pages of parenting magazines... BEWARE THE FLYING BALLOON! Here in the Philippines, flying balloons have been getting a bad rap. In fact not all flying balloons are dangerous. The danger lies in the fact that some party companies / suppliers use HYDROGEN instead of HELIUM to produce their flying balloons. Hydrogen is an unstable, flammable gas. An electrical spark, close contact with a cigarette, getting too near a chaffing dish burner, reportedly even static has turned a hydrogen filled balloon into an exlosion of flames. Why do party suppliers use this gas then? Well it's SOOOOO much cheaper than helium, it's not even funny. Helium prices, due to scarcity of supply, have been sky rocketing in price here in the Philippines. So party suppliers, wanting to make a quick buck or simply want to supply cheaper flying balloons, resort to the cheaper gas.

So fair warning, for SAFE flying balloons, expect to spend somewhere in the avenue of P55 up per 11" balloon. See the warning flags if you're charged P20 or lower. We here at Hi-5 Parties will not compromise safety or quality just to turn a profit.

Thanks for your time and BE SAFE!! Remember, HELIUM FLYING BALLOONS = GOOD / HYDROGEN FLYING BALLOONS = BAD!

Having trouble embedding the video but check out this hydrogen balloon experiment on YOU TUBE...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRf7RSH2TKEen

"Hydrogen and helium have long been part of people's fascination with the balloon world. The gases cause balloons to rise. As noted above, hydrogen and balloons were first brought together by Faraday. Hydrogen brings a lot of play and joy to the balloon world, but it brings an equal or greater amount of danger. It easily explodes and catches fire. Hydrogen-filled balloons can float to a site of combustible material, explode, and start a fire. They did.

As early as 1914, thoughtful firemen were trying to ban the use of hydrogen in toy balloons because of the danger. In 1922, New York City banned hydrogen-filled toy balloons by official ordinance. The action was taken after a prankster exploded hydrogen-filled balloon decorations at a city function, and an official was badly burned.

Hydrogen was eventually replaced by helium. Though hydrogen had one-tenth more lifting power, helium was safer.

The safety made it possible for gas-filled balloons to be used in dramatic ways in advertising. Helen Warny became a leader in this field. In the 1920's, she was founder of The Toy Balloon company in New York. She used luminous and other balloons in balloon showerettes, balloon-decked parade floats, and fashionable window displays. The peak of her efforts came when she released 50,000 helium-filled balloons at one time. Each was printed with an advertiser's name and bore a tag which offered a prize to the finder.

Some balloons today are specially designed for being filled with helium. They are self-sealing, which helps eliminate helium waste. They have their own strings attached. "

Quoted from http://www.balloonhq.com/faq/history.html .

"Hydrogen-filled balloons banned in school activities
(Xinhua)
Updated: 2007-09-23 13:50
China's education watchdog has banned the usage of hydrogen-filled balloons in school activities after an explosion injured nearly 100 students at a northwest China school last Sunday.

"Education departments at various levels, schools and kindergartens must asked for government permission before they organize activities involving the handling and release of hydrogen-filled balloons," the Ministry of Education said in a notice on its website on Saturday.

About 1,600 small balloons set to be released at the opening ceremony of a sports meet unexpectedly exploded and caught fire at around 9:00 am on September 16, injuring 98 students of the Lanzhou Electric Power Vocational School, based in Gansu Province.

Investigations by local work safety bureau showed that illegal use of hydrogen led to the balloon blast.

A local company that provided the balloons filled the balloons with highly combustible hydrogen in stead of helium as required.

And the event organizers did not report their plan or check the balloons.

People responsible for the explosion will be "severely dealt with," the notice added.

The ministry asked education departments at various levels, schools and kindergartens to be more prudent in future activities, and ordered them to make safety plans, double-check sites, routes, vehicles and facilities, and enhance safety training of both the students and teachers."

Quoted from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-09/23/content_6127331.htm

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