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indysmagic
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Ok, I didn't know where to post this. I know this is no sideshow stunt. This may be a silly question but here goes:

As a kid, inhaling helium made your voice sound like a chipmonk. Is this safe? What is going on? Now that I have kids, I don't want to let them do something stupid just because I got by with it.
Steve V
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Nah, but go for it anyway. If there is an alergy there is a problem.
Steve V
Hamilton
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Helium is one of the inert gases so shouldn't have much in the way of reactions.

Commercial divers often breath an oxygen, helium mix for this reason and for extended periods of time when working at depths where the pressure makes the nitrogen in a "normal air" mix toxic.

However, the "balloon" products are not necessarily pure. Contaminants could and probably would include oils, other gases and who knows what else? These might not be so good.

Otherwise, it's also not oxygen so one could suffocate if you only breathed it without any Ox.

But, I still do it.

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jeremysweiss
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So, let me get this straight: You have come to a forum where people eat fire, walk on broken glass and stick nails in their noses to ask, "....is it safe?"
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indysmagic
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Great One Jeremyweiss! You've got a point.
Thanks for the info guys.
As a former closet blockhead, I guess I shouldn't worry.
Shawn
jeremysweiss
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Unfortunately the point is on my head.
Don't inhale helium for more than two consecutive minutes. Breathe some room air. Best of luck sounding silly.
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Steve V
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What ever you do NEVER put peanut butter on the nozzle before inhaling.
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Marvello
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Also never juggle flaming cats while using helium... actually - never juggle flaming cats. Helium is fine Smile
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Doug Higley
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Joking aside guys...Helium is NOT safe...and can be FATAL. Air passages have been known to SHUT tight and breathing impared or worse. recommending to 'Go ahead, do it' might not be the best advise...

The FACTS!

Product is a non-toxic simple asphyxiant. Effects of oxygen deficiency resulting from simple asphyxiants mayinclude: rapid breathing, diminished mental alertness, impaired muscular coordination, faulty judgement,depression of all sensations, emotional instability, and fatigue. As asphyxiation progresses, nausea, vomiting,prostration, and loss of consciousness may result, eventually leading to convulsions, coma, and death.



This is from an Australian Gas site:

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 around Australia 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, "Australians 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".

In 1898, fifteen year old Michelle Moreno from Texas died from helium inhalation at a friend's party. Her death caused major headlines regarding the dangers of helium inhalation. In Australia, Kristi Brash from Victoria had a near death experience when she appeared to freeze and turn blue after inhaling the entire contents of a balloon. Kristi fell motionless to the floor but luckily regained consciousness after a few minutes. Kristi was rushed to hospital and after examination she appeared to be find although any long term affects of the inhalation are yet to be determined.

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!

From another American site:

The gas itself if used improperly can also take human life. We’ve all seen someone or have ingested helium into our lungs which produces that funny squeaky voice.
This is caused by minute amounts of oxygen being depleted from you’re your lungs which then changes the sound of our voice.


Inhalation is NEVER advisable even in small doses


The danger is inhaling too much helium; enough gas inhaled into the body will deplete the oxygen and the person will die of suffocation.
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Kondini
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At last a very sensible post from Doug.
Now one from me,,,as you know this gas makes things rise!!!!
Haveing tried out the above ideas earlier today (Around 6am) I have just been rescued from the top of a very high tree by the London Fire Brigade.

Ken.
Doug Higley
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Thinking Helium is akin to a litle Blue Pill can lead to hair loss...oops...


and why the hell aren't you busy writing me an eMail???
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Yeah, people use helium to kill themselves when they don't want to make a mess.

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jeremysweiss
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Doug's right.
Helium can kill. The high-pitched , squeaking voice can kill dogs. As I said before: don't put your life in your hands because of info you saw on some forum.
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moosemanty
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I love helium. at my brothers wedding I inhaled about 150 balloons worth of helium and I never got sick at all. I guess it must vary person to person.

although the kid next to me in the wedding did pass out and hit the hard wood floor right as my brother was getting all teary eyed it was kind of funny "blah blah blah(snivle snivle) blah (big snivle) bla...BOOM "he hit the floor. paramedic said it was just heat because it was summer and he was wearing a tuxedo.
Doug Higley
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That's nice Moose...I'm sure you know best...must have been the heat unless he was also inhaling a labled Asphyxiant and the EMT didn't know that.

No biggie...the big ass Comet is due soon anyway.
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The Village Idiots
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I just heard about the big ass comet today. I had no idea. I also heard you can find pictures of naked people on the internet. Who knew?

I played with helium balloons before but I did not inhale.
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Some are made idiots.

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ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2006-04-24 23:13, jeremysweiss wrote:
So, let me get this straight: You have come to a forum where people eat fire, walk on broken glass and stick nails in their noses to ask, "....is it safe?"


"Yes it's safe. It's as safe as can be."

"Is it safe?"
Quote:
On 2006-04-25 07:13, Marvello wrote:
Also never juggle flaming cats while using helium... actually - never juggle flaming cats. Helium is fine Smile


"Honey? Wash the gasoline off the cats. Marvello just told me I shouldn't do it!"

"No it isn't safe, it's very dangerous."
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Harley Newman
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If the cats are inflated with helium, aren't they easier to juggle?
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Roslyn
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Cats full of helium... reminds me of an eddie izzard sketch about a taxidurmist filling animals with weird stuff. cats full of helium was one of them.

sorry, in a world of my own this morning.

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DavidEscapes
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I only ever tried helium once, and I didn't die. So it MUST be safe...

Never ever use gasolene for burning cat juggling, I tried it once, it gave me an awful rash. Better to soak them in lighter fluid overnight.
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