New York State balloon launches may be banned

The next time you attend a ceremony or party, you may not see a balloon launch. There was a recent ban that went into effect in California and it’s no exaggeration to see this happening here in New York State as well.

According to recent reports:

…balloons could break down into microplastics found in oceans, drinking water, food, and even the air.

City leaders have said balloons filled with any lighter-than-air gas, such as helium, pose safety threats to animals, humans and the environment. And although the balloons seem to float in space, they always come back down, causing trouble.

I’ve been saying for years that while I love a good ball and we get the occasional ball for the kids, it’s certainly frustrating to find them in the woods like the one below. I’m often in the woods and I see scattered balloons. Balloons have to land somewhere and often it is in a wood, agricultural field or water.

Photo by: Clay Moden

Photo by: Clay Moden

The other issue that has arisen recently is that of mylar/foil balloon launches. Metal balloons pose a threat to power lines and networks.

When foil-lined balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, come into contact with a power line or other electrical equipment, their metallic properties can cause an electrical surge that can interfere with the equipment. Untethered balloons cause thousands of unnecessary electrical service interruptions for Pepco customers each year. These balloons are also known to float around for days and can end up having a negative impact on the environment.

Balloons are fun, but maybe a simple reminder to keep an eye out for them will help keep them from becoming litter.

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