Have you ever been to a party and
inhaled helium in an attempt to sound like Donald Duck? If so, you
have probably put your life at risk!
Evidence has proven that the
inhalation of helium can be fatal, yet thousands of party goers
continue to inhale helium thinking it to be incredibly funny rather
than life threatening. The inhalation of helium cuts off a
person's supply of oxygen and can cause dizziness, unconsciousness
and ultimately death.
Doctors are concerned about the
health risk associated with people inhaling helium. This is a
particular problem when people are inebriated and their system is
already contending with an outside influence.
According to Consultant Occupational
Health Physician, Dr Greg McGroder, "People have not yet realised
the extreme danger associated with helium inhalation. If the
concentration of oxygen is decreased below 18% within the human
body, symptoms and signs of Asphyxia can occur. Helium gas can
totally displace the available oxygen and if this is maintained for
even a few seconds, asphyxia and death can and will occur".
Comedy television and radio
programmes often use helium as a device to get laughs. This
portrays helium inhalation as a fun, safe practice when, in effect,
it is deadly. Public figures are influential in the minds of the
public and they need to realise that they could either die from
helium use or be indirectly responsible for the death of another.
BOC Gases is deeply concerned about
the misuse of Balloon Gas and is going to great efforts to inform
the public that helium inhalation can be fatal. Unfortunately with
people continuing to ignore the dangers of this potentially lethal
practice, it is a difficult task to educate the public that HELIUM
INHALATION IS NO LAUGHING MATTER!