22 Aug '11, 10am

Ask Umbra on whether balloons are eco-friendly:

Ask Umbra on whether balloons are eco-friendly:

Are there any toxic chemicals in balloons? How about endocrine disruptors like BPA? This is a product that both kids and adults alike are exposed to when blowing them up. Please let me know what you find out. Heather R. Cause for celebration? Photo: Nicole Hanusek A. Dearest Heather, While I have, believe it or not, written about hot air balloons before, I haven't tackled their smaller, less-suitable-for-travel sister, the party balloon. It would probably do us all well to think more carefully about more things that we press our lips to, from produce to party favors. Let's whiz through the basics of balloon production. (We can skip over the part where, back in the day, balloons were made from animal bladders.) Para rubber trees (originally in South America ) produce a white, sticky sap -- latex -- that may be turned into rubber for our party balloons. Latex's poser friend,...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/green-living-tips/2011-08-22-ask-umb...

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Ask Umbra at the tar-sands protests and on the radio: via @grist

Ask Umbra at the tar-sands protests and on the ...

grist.org 03 Sep '11, 12am

The tar-sands protest. Photo: Tar Sands Action Dearest readers, Saturday, I have the honor of being a part of two great th...