Experts warn the dangers of balloon releases

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“They can be carried long distances, they can be carried hundreds of miles.”

Balloons are great for birthdays, graduations and weddings, but, letting them go while outside can pose a threat to the environment.

“Eventually the balloons either expand to a point where they burst and they fall down or the leak the helium out and the lose bouncy and the settle out and if they’re released near the coast then they’re likely to be carried out over the ocean and settle on the surface” said Mark Benfield, Oceanography Professor.

Along with hard plastic being caught around animals.

“Balloons and soft plastic are 32 times more likely to result in the death of a bird.”

LSU Oceanography Professor, Mark Benfield said, studies show balloons are just as dangerous.

“Soft balloons can easily get compacted in the gut and cause obstruction and once the intestine is blocked then there’s death” said Benfield.

Experts also warn about Butterfly and Dove releases, urging you to use things such flags, banners or planting a flower. If you decide to use a balloon, Benfiled said, the best thing to do is simply throw them away.

“There’s no safe alternative to balloons. The best thing you can do is enjoy them, hang on to them but don’t let go of the string.”

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