VIP Balloons are the only balloon company in the area to professionally organise balloons races for local charities, we take our responsibility seriously and would never release balloons without following the QBN and BAPIA Code of Conduct.
Environmentalists are quite right to raise issues that animals can be harmed when balloon races are not organised properly. All the evidence showing harm to animals show that it is the extras, such as ribbons, plastic valves and foil balloons that have caused harm. At VIP Balloons, we release just a balloon with a hole-punch ticket attached directly to the balloon. No ribbons or extras are ever used in our races.
Research shows that, when fully inflated, the balloon will rise to about 5 miles before expanding, freezing and exploding, causing very small fragments to fall back to Earth. The ticket, knot and neck then float on the thermals before finally falling to the ground to be found.
These small fragments have been tested in laboratories and it has been proven that, if ingested, they will pass through animals without causing harm. If anyone would like to see the documents, links can be found at the bottom of this page. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discus this further.
The balloons we use are 100% latex, with natural colours meaning that they fully degrade at the same rate as an oak leaf. The tickets used are also made from a thick paper and are also fully biodegradable meaning that, in time, nothing is left behind from our races.
Helium is a non-toxic, non-flammable, inert gas that naturally occurs in the air we breathe. It is considered to be a safe gas but should never be inhaled intentionally as it can cause suffocation and instant death. Details about the helium usage within the party industry and the reported ‘shorage’ can be found in the document at the bottom of this page.
The following is a statement from the leading supplier of balloon gas, BOC:
“It’s important to be aware that there is a distinction between pure, liquid helium and impure, gaseous helium. Gas companies prioritise supplies of pure, liquid helium for critical medical uses e.g. MRI scanners in hospitals, ensuring that they can remain fully operational.
Helium for balloons is a different product – it is impure and gaseous and produced as a by-product of supplying liquid helium for the MRI market – a market which makes up about forty percent of the helium business in the UK. Impure, gaseous helium cannot be used directly in medical MRI scanners or in other applications that use super-conducting magnets. Impure helium can be recovered by the customer and reliquefied if the customer has the necessary plant on site, and if not, it can still be recovered and reprocessed for use in the balloon market.
Industrial gas companies do support the recovery and reprocessing of helium to ensure that every opportunity is taken to recycle and reuse this important resource. Historically, recovery has only been viable for large users of helium, but new opportunities are consistently being reviewed and implemented with customers to help them conserve and reuse their helium.
For the future, there is still plenty of helium on our planet, with investments being made to bring various new sources on-stream in the coming years. The locations and environments of these new sources will mean the market price for helium is expected to continue to rise, but making these investments will mean that helium will continue to be available for many years to come. Rising prices in the market will also drive an increase in investment in the means by which customers can recover more of their own helium.”
If you are wanting to run a balloon race to raise funds for your charity, or to mark an occasion, speak to us about how we can run these for you properly as nobody wants to cause harm to our environment.
Please click on the links below to open the relevant documents