Bustin' balloon myths with Dr Morgan Gilmour (Part 1 of 2)
For decades, those party animals within the balloon industry relied on one industry-funded study from 1989 which claimed that, after six short weeks, balloons degraded “at about the same rate as oak tree leaves” and there was no way that balloons were a threat to wildlife. Of course, wildlife would disagree with this - but some robust science was needed to pop those balloon myths. Enter Dr Morgan Gilmour and Dr Jennifer Lavers from Adrift Lab. We talk to Dr Gilmour about the dubious 1989 study and the myth bustin' research that will certainly make your think twice at your next party.
This is a two-part conversation, with the second (and final) part released next week.
- Dr Morgan Gilmour: https://www.morgangilmour.com/
- Adrift Lab profile: https://adriftlab.org/morgan
- Gilmour M, Lavers J, 2020, We composted ‘biodegradable’ balloons. Here’s what we found after 16 weeks, article in 'The Conversation': https://theconversation.com/we-composted-biodegradable-balloons-heres-what-we-found-after-16-weeks-138731
- Burchette D K, 1989, Study of the effect of balloon releases on the environment: https://www.balloonhq.com/faq/deco_releases/release_study.html
- Gilmour M E , Lavers J L, 2020, Latex balloons do not degrade uniformly in freshwater, marine and composting environments, The Journal of Hazardous Materials: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304389420316150?via%3Dihub
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