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Popular Party Balloons Causing Power Outages

The problems behind the growing popularity and trend of Mylar balloons


What's going on?

Foil balloons, better known as Mylar balloons, have become a staple of parties all across the world with its growing popularity. They are frequently used to spell out names and make statements such as Happy Birthday or numbers. It wasn’t too long ago back in 2013 when the popularity of the balloon exploded after it was featured in a music video of Robin Thicke’s controversial song, Blurred Lines. Since then, it has caught the public’s eye, including other artists and celebrities such as BeyoncĂ©, Victoria Beckham, and many others who incorporated the balloons into their parties and events.


The rise of social media also elevated this trend, but the balloons have had several unfortunate incidents attached to them. In 2018, Mylar balloons caused 1,128 power outages in Southern California. That is nearly double the previous estimate, recorded four years earlier. Even the Balloon Council had to release a statement, reminding the public to weight down their balloons to prevent them from flying off. Not just that, but the balloons are also commonly filled with helium. This lighter-than-air gas is the reason the balloons float up in the air, which, if they are let go, puts them at risk of colliding with power lines and causing power outages.


Additionally, there is also a shortage of helium gas globally, which is an even more critical concern as it has several essential medical-related functions. Hence, some companies have reverted to fill these balloons with air instead of helium. Despite all of these concerns, proponents of this fad believe that, no matter what, there will always be consumers who desire the uniqueness of the Mylar balloon, and this will help keep the industry alive for longer.


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