The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on January 15, 1989 · Page 6
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 6

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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Sunday, January 15, 1989
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Page 6
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-A-6 -THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR- SUNDAY, JANUARY 15, 1989 Festive balloons called pollution hazard Mobile litter deadly to fish and wildlife Bl JOHNM. LEIGHTY ASSOCIATED PRESS Colorful helium balloons, released into the air to celebrate everything from mall openings to sporting events, create windblown '"mobile litter" that environmentalists say should be as illegal nr. tossing trash from an automobile. The fallout of balloons made of mylar and latex creates eco-'. logical hazards, killing fish and wildlife and adding to the tons of - randomly discarded plastic and -rubber products polluting the ;'Earth. according to those concerned with the problem. A small group of people protesting balloon launches showed up recently at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, where 1.000 red and gold balloons are re- - leased during home game festivities. On a larger scale, efforts are ' being made to dissuade Disney Enterprises from sending 1,1 .million balloons Into the air ev- ! ery year during promotional fes-tivlties. ' Such grass-roots efforts to !.stop balloon launches are apparently having positive results. ;!aid Bob Schoelkopf, director of Tthe Marine Mammal Stranding "Center in Brigantine, N.J.. an island where volunteers recently T.counted 700 balloons blown onto an eight-mile stretch of beach .- over a two-month period. f fc?, .X-: --sf ... 4- J FILE PHOTO Most balloons, such as those released at the Indianapolis 500, are not recovered and can fall into bodies of water and be ingested by wildlife, often with fatal results. Schoelkopf, an outspoken antl-balloon activist, said a big coup was the agreement by the National Science and Technology Association to cancel next year's release of 500.000 balloons by schoolchildren in April to study wind patterns. In addition, he said, Disney World In Florida has already agreed to cut back Glemby Alternatives Salon No appointments! Just walk in, sign in and you're next! Perm wavehaircutstyle 521 Shampooconditionstyle ....S7 Shampoohaircut $7 Conditioning treatment ..... .S3 Alternatives salons at Washington Square. Greenwood Park, Lafayette Square and Castleton Square. 1 I ILAWIUfe I I on balloon launches and release doves at some events. "I'm not against balloons, I'm against the launching of balloons," said Schoelkopf, adding that he became aware of the dangers In 1985 when he found a young sperm whale dying on the beach. "It was starving to death because of a mylar balloon blocking the valve to its stomach. "It started me thinking, what goes up must come down. It could be In the woods, on the prairie or in the ocean." On the West Coast, the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals warned recently that an estimated 95 percent of helium balloons put into the air are never recovered and can fall and concentrate in ocean currents, endangering Pacific marine mammals. "Floating in the water, deteriorated balloons with their frayed rubber fringe look remarkably like the tentacles of jellyfish, a favorite meal for many sea creatures," said the society's Lynn Spivak. In Hawaii, the death of a 12-pound hawksbill turtle on a remote beach focused attention on how plastics and other non-biodegradable products can form "highways" of floating waste that wildlife view as food. An autopsy of the turtle revealed an intestinal tract filled with 3 pounds of junk that included parts of the following: a balloon, beads, comb, golf key, toothpaste cap. toy wheel, syringe, rope, flower and fishing line. 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Available in all sizes. 33 for RovaltvBeautvrest Flotation Sleep System $21 18 a month for 36 mos. Qun til SIMMONS Includes a waveless fiber mattress, liner, solid state heater and 9 legged metal bed frame. Based on selling price ol $799 00. plus tax $39.95. plus contract fee S8 00, minus 10 down payment S84.47. tor total amount financed S762 .48. Payable in 36 equal payments of $21 18 a month. Available in an sizes ,j World Class Beautyrest Flotation Sleep System Includes a waveless fiber mattress with built-in lumbar support liner, solid state heater and 9 legged bed frame. Based on seltinq once ot S949 99. plus tax $47 45. plus contract fee S8 00. minus 10. S 100.13. for total amount financed $904.32 Payable in 36 equal payments ot S25.12 a month. Available in all sizes. Qualified buvers pavonlvlOtt down with a $20 minimum pawnent. BEDROOM ONE ONLY 25" a month for 36 mos. OuMn i payment Tlje Wateibeci Specialists NORTH 849-7208 CASTLET0N PLACF EAST 897-3010 WASHINGTON CORIiEfi WEST Z93-8402 LAFAYETTE PLACE SOUTH MUNCIE ANDERSON BLOOMtNGTON K0K0M0 887-1331 284-4221 642-6001 332-9696 451-2288 GHEEMiVOOD LYfiDE'i600K KOHLS EASTLAND SOUTHWAY PLACE PIjCA PlfCA PLAZA SHOPPING CENTER ty of Hawaii's Sea Grant Program said balloons and other discarded products are blown In on Isolated beaches In "drift lanes" along with natural debris. "Sea birds Ingest plastics and regurgitate It to their young," said Bauer, adding that several scheduled balloon launches were canceled on the Islands last year because of Increased environmental awareness. Barrett admits she once enjoyed releasing balloons Into the sky and said she doesn't want to blame anyone for not recognizing the dangers of what has traditionally been a festive part of positive celebrations. "It's a difficult Issue that we have to become conscious of," she said. "We don't want to harm one part of the world while celebrating another." Balloon manufacturers, one of the largest being Pioneer Balloon Co. of Wichita, Kan., say modern latex balloons break down or "biodegrade" In the environment within three to six months. Other balloons are expected to be marketed In the future that disintegrate In about two months on exposure to sunlight and seawater. Silver-coated mylar balloons, additionally, are semimetallic vehicles that last year caused more than 120 power outages in California, according to the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Often sold individually, the balloons, when freed Into the air, can short-circuit power lines at a cost of $40,000 to $100,000 per Incident, the utility said. Ill J WW SlAOr TEHEE yEAB2 WDTEH CILASS! Enroll now in the Indiana Wesleyan University leap Program. 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