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Balloon Memorial 2016

After the Annual Balloon Memorial last year, we were approached by a group called "Balloons Blow" who raised their concerns about the launch and the effect of latex balloons on the environment; and asked us to find alternatives ways to conduct the Memorial.

As friends of our environment, we, at the Foundation assured this group we would do our due diligence, and below are the findings regarding latex balloons. Based on this information, and with the promise other safety precautions will be adhered to, the Balloon Memorial will take place per usual....looking forward to seeing all of you all there!


"Latex balloons are 100% biodegradable. Latex is a natural product drawn from rubber trees and rubber tree plantations."


Helium is a lighter-than-air gas used to inflate balloons. It exists in small quantities within the earth's atmosphere and is mined from underground pools where it accumulates as a by-product of the earth's production of natural gas. Helium is non-toxic, non-flammable, and has no harmful effects on the earth's environment.


BalloonsWhen a latex balloon is released, it rises to a height of approximately 28,000 feet, with the helium gas expanding as it rises. With temperatures dropping to minus 40 degrees at this altitude, the balloon freezes. As the helium continues to expand in the frozen balloon, the balloon undergoes "brittle fracturing" and ruptures into small slivers which scatter and fall to earth. A small percentage of balloons which are released will experience leaks from defects and will not rise high enough to freeze and burst. The distance they travel and their distribution will be determined by current prevailing winds.

Research indicates that if 10% of the balloons from a 500 balloon release were to fall into this category, the average distribution would be one balloon per 15 square mile area.


Additional information is available from The Balloon Council, a coalition of balloon manufacturers and distributors, at 1-800-233-8887.

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