HomeFamilyPollutants in balloons: Be careful when inflating

Pollutants in balloons: Be careful when inflating

Twelve sets in the test

Airy-funny-colorful fun: Balloons decorate weddings, children’s birthday parties and anniversaries of all kinds. Dangerous nitrosamines can lurk in some, as our Italian partner organization Altroconsumo has discovered. The testers tested twelve sets of balloons. They had ordered these on the online platforms Amazon and Wish, which also deliver in Germany. The colorful, metallic or pastel colored latex balloons were labeled as “best choice” or popular on the platforms.

limits exceeded. Children’s toys may contain a maximum of 0.05 milligrams of nitrosamines per kilogram of material. This is a European guideline. For nitrosatable amines, precursors of nitrosamines, the limit is 1 milligram. The testers found up to 19 times more nitrosamines and up to 6 times more nitrosatable amines in the balloons than permitted.

Substances can cause cancer and damage genetic material

Nitrosamines are considered carcinogenic, some can damage the genetic material. They enter the body through the skin or mucous membranes. Rubber does not naturally contain nitrosamines. They can arise during vulcanization, a manufacturing process that is supposed to make the balloons resistant. However, according to experts, this could be avoided to a large extent.

Not an isolated case. In recent years, European market surveillance authorities have found nitrosamines in balloons more often. Consumers should at least look out for a CE mark: this is used by suppliers to ensure that their toys meet European safety requirements. However, since this is not independently verified, it is not a guarantee for safe products.

See also
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Tip: Children in particular should only inflate balloons with a pump and not put them in their mouths. Keep away from small children: they could swallow uninflated balloons.


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