Inhaling Helium: Dangerous Side Effects of Inhalation of Helium

Helium fills balloons up in parties. It makes balloons float rather than ordinary air. Balloons are a fun accessory in parties. Another activity that can be seen in most parties is for guests, child and adult alike, to suck in the helium from these balloons. Many people do this because they think it is funny but it is actually more harmful than entertaining.

  • Helium is a colorless, tasteless, odorless, inert, non-toxic and monatomic gas.
  • Helium is inhaled by many people because it changes the pitch and timbre of the voice mimicking that of a cartoon character.
  • When helium is inhaled, sound travels much faster through the vocal cords changing the pitch of the voice.
  • This can be an entertaining activity for many people but it is not safe.
  • There have been instances where people have fainted from helium inhalation.

Is Inhaling Helium Dangerous

  • Yes, helium in the body is dangerous especially in high doses.
  • Inhalation of helium in small amounts and done occasionally may not harm the body.
  • Helium gets inside the body through inhalation.
  • The presence of helium in the body depletes the body’s oxygen.
  • The more helium is present in the body, the more the possibility of the body’s oxygen to become exhausted or completely depleted.
  • The body responds to the presence of helium as it would a body that is depleted in oxygen.
  • Small amounts of helium sucked from a balloon can at most cause lightheadedness and even fainting.
  • High doses of helium can cause fatal asphyxiation.

Consequences & Side Effects of Helium Inhalation

While many people have not yet experienced any untoward reactions or side effects from helium it still possesses many dangers that can have harmful effects on the body.

  • Depriving the body of oxygen: Helium deprives the body of oxygen. When an individual continues to inhale helium, the body’s oxygen continues to be depleted and the result is passing out or fainting instantly.
  • Rupture of the lungs: Lungs can become ruptured when the helium is inhaled from a pressurized tank.
  • High-pressure nervous syndrome: Brain waves become scattered and altered and the individual experiences short-term loss of conscious in repeated episodes and tremors in the extremities.
  • Physical injuries: Injuries can be brought about after fainting when the individual falls on the surface of the floor after continued inhalation of helium.