A study of the effect of balloon releases on the environment
Calculations were done to determine the fate of rubber latex balloons released into the environment. Aging tests were done to measure the degradeability of latex balloons under a wide range of conditions. Based on results, recommendations were made concerning rules to limit the impact of balloons on the environment.
Code of practice for balloon releases.
This code of practice has been compiled using the experiences of the industry and the feedback of environmental groups gathered over many years. Along with the requirements of the UK Civil Aviation Authority the following provides a comprehensive and responsible code of practice for the industry.
•· Only latex balloons should be used in balloon releases
•· Metallic foil balloons (sometimes referred to as Mylar) should never be released or used in a balloon release
•· Latex balloons with a metallic pigment should never be used in a balloon release
•· Only 12" (30cm) or smaller balloons should be used in a balloon release
•· Only Helium (He) should be used to inflate the balloons
•· Balloons should be fully inflated to ensure that they will float to optimum altitude and burst into small pieces improving the decomposition time
•· Only biodegradeable products should be attached to the balloons
•· No ribbons or strings should be attached to the balloons
•· Balloons should be hand tied and no valves, plugs or other devices should be used to seal the balloons.
•· Balloons must not be tied together they must always be released in singles
•· Where the balloons are restrained before release the restraining medium must be attached to the ground or a fixed structure to prevent any inadvertent release of the restraining medium with the balloons.
•· All relevant authorities must be informed in accordance with CAA and local regulations.
•· All helium filled foil balloons should be attached to a suitable weight to ensure that they are not released into the environment
•· All helium filled foil balloons in a bouquet or arrangement should be individually tied to a weight
•· It is recommended that balloon professionals familiarise themselves with the Law in California relating to helium filled foil balloons. The following link shows the information on the IBA website. http://www.ibaonline.net/IndustryLegislativeIssues/CaliforniaBalloonLaws/tabid/111/Default.aspx