Research has shown that after Latex balloons are launched, they often rise to an altitude of about five miles where they begin to freeze in the -50 degree Fahrenheit cold. In addition, the strong differential between the gas pressure inside the balloon and the near vacuum outside the balloon at that altitude causes the balloons to expand to the point were they eventually burst. However, because the Latex is frozen, the bursting balloon tears into shreds, which scatter over a wide area as they fall back to Earth where they begin to decay.
In simpler terms, they contribute to the litter in the environment. 🙁
Many people believe that the shreds of latex balloons that find their way back to the ground end up killing animals once ingested. Although it is true that some animals such as birds, fish, and turtles ingest balloon fragments, “there is no documented proof that any sea animal has died as a direct result of ingesting latex balloons. Rubber balloons, unlike plastic, are 100% biodegradable and begin degrading about one hour after inflation. Exposure to sunlight quickens the process but a combination of oxygen and ozone attack the natural rubber – even in the dark.” Usually animals just pass balloon fragments through their system without harm.
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