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雑学

Risk! Don't make a mistake! Play that changes voice with helium gas

There have been tragic accidents such as inhaling helium gas, falling into unconsciousness, and dying. Helium gas is a noble gas that is said to be tasteless, odorless, and non-toxic, but why would such an accident occur?
One of the causes of the accident is lack of awareness of helium gas.
Here, we will introduce the mechanism and precautions for changing voice with helium gas. Make sure you have the correct knowledge to avoid accidents caused by helium gas at parties.

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Scientific verification: Why does your voice change when you inhale helium gas?

Why does inhaling helium gas make your voice louder in the first place? Humans make a vibrating sound (voice) through a fold-shaped organ called the "vocal cord" in the back of the throat, and make the vibrating sound echo in the vocal tract (throat) to emit a voice that can be heard outside. ..
The pitch of the voice changes depending on the shape of the vocal cords and the length of the vocal tract, but it is said that the faster the vibration sound emitted from the vocal cords passes through the vocal tract, the higher the voice.

Helium gas is lighter and less dense than air, so when the vocal tract is filled with helium gas, the vibrating sound (voice) that passes through it can travel faster than in the air.
It is generally said that the speed at which sound is transmitted into the air is about 330 m / sec, but this is about three times faster in helium gas, so it sounds high.

About the danger of inhaling helium gas

Helium gas is a tasteless, odorless, non-toxic noble gas, so even if it is inhaled, it does not dissolve in the blood and is said to have no effect on the human body. However, helium gas does not contain oxygen, so if you inhale a large amount of it, you may temporarily become oxygen deficient and cause respiratory distress. This can happen if you inhale a large amount of oxygen-free gas, not just helium gas.

To prevent such accidents, the helium gas for voice change sold as a joke goods contains about 20% oxygen. However, the helium gas used to inflate a balloon does not contain oxygen, so it should never be inhaled directly.
Be aware that helium gas for balloons and helium gas for voice change have different oxygen contents.

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Helium gas is a non-toxic and safe gas

As mentioned above, helium gas is a non-toxic gas, so there is no problem if helium gas leaks from the gas cylinder for balloons and is inhaled to some extent.
However, if the enclosed space is filled with a large amount of helium gas, the oxygen concentration may decrease. Ventilate well when using.

In addition, there is no danger of ignition or explosion, but if you bring it close to fire or leave it in a place exposed to direct sunlight, the temperature inside the gas cylinder will rise and gas may spurt out. Care must be taken when controlling the temperature of the storage location.

At events attended by people who are not familiar with helium gas for balloons, the person in charge must manage the helium gas so that it cannot be used without permission. In fact, there have been reports of cases in which people died when they inhaled directly without knowing the difference from helium gas for voice change.
Make sure you have the right knowledge about helium gas and enjoy it safely so that fun parties and events aren't spoiled by accidents.

-雑学