Helium is a light, nonreactive gas that is used in MRI machines, cryogenic research, “heliox” (a mixture of helium and oxygen), and helium balloons. You may have heard that breathing in helium is dangerous and can even kill you, but have you ever thought about how likely it is that it will hurt your health? Many young people want to know whether it’s OK to breathe helium from a balloon?
What you need to know is listed below.
Is it OK to breathe helium from a balloon?
In short, no, you shouldn’t breathe helium from a balloon. But it isn’t serious if you just breathe a little. If you breathe in helium from a balloon, your voice will sound squeaky. You could also feel dizzy because you’re breathing in pure helium gas instead of air with oxygen. This can cause low oxygen, or hypoxia. If you take more than a couple of breaths of helium gas, you could pass out, but unless you hit your head when you fall, you probably won’t do any lasting damage. You could get a headache and have a dry nose. Helium is not dangerous, and as soon as you move away from the balloon, you’ll be breathing normal air again.
You should know about: How long does it take for helium to leave your body?
Is it OK to inhale a little bit of helium?
Someone is inhaling just a little bit of helium and get scared. Well, it is okay, but stop inhaling. When you inhale helium, it displaces oxygen. This means that when you breathe in, all you get is helium.
So, when do you know if it’s dangerous to inhale helium? It is when you’re breathing helium from a pressurized tank. Oxygen is important for every single thing your body does. When you don’t get enough of it, you put yourself in danger. There are many of the same risks as with other inhalants. On the other hand, it is very dangerous to breathe in helium from a pressurized gas tank. Because the gas has a much higher pressure than air, helium could rush into your lungs and cause them to bleed or burst. You’ll probably end up in the hospital or the morgue. This isn’t something that only happens with helium. Any pressurized gas can and probably will hurt you if you breathe it in. Don’t try to take in gas from a tank.