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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not yet a tech diver hence my lack of knowledge on helium. However, I was in a dive shop once and noticed a big skull and cross bones sign on the helium bottles with a big sign saying " DANGER, HELIUM KILLS!!!"

I said to the guy in the shop “I thought helium was safe, divers breath it (albeit diluted)” He told me that if you breathed pure helium that it wouldn’t just be lack of o2 that was of concern, but the helium strips the lining off of the inside of the lungs.

I have no desire to breath 100% helium but if this was true then how can even the diluted mixes that we as divers breath be not doing us some harm. Plus helium is supposed to be inert so how would even 100% of the stuff damage anything.

Was this guy talking sh*t or is there more to helium than meets the eye?
 

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:embarassed:
I'm not yet a tech diver hence my lack of knowledge on helium. However, I was in a dive shop once and noticed a big skull and cross bones sign on the helium bottles with a big sign saying " DANGER, HELIUM KILLS!!!"

I said to the guy in the shop “I thought helium was safe, divers breath it (albeit diluted)” He told me that if you breathed pure helium that it wouldn’t just be lack of o2 that was of concern, but the helium strips the lining off of the inside of the lungs.

I have no desire to breath 100% helium but if this was true then how can even the diluted mixes that we as divers breath be not doing us some harm. Plus helium is supposed to be inert so how would even 100% of the stuff damage anything.

Was this guy talking sh*t or is there more to helium than meets the eye?
As far as i am aware its inert, thats why its used, they have used high (80%) in some cardiac surgery, post op, so im guessing it wouldn't have a damaging effect on your lungs.

Obviously prolonged exposure at 100% would kill as would any gas we're not designed to breath


Must be taking the piss (i hope:embarassed: )
 

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It's probably only the dryness of compressed gas that makes it feels like it's stripping your lung lining? Otherwise he's talking b*ll*x. Like others will probably say, be safe, put oxygen in the mix!
 

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My understanding is that it if you breath Helium with out any 02 in the mix then C02 is not produced by the body and the brain needs C02 to trigger the automatic breathing process so with out the C02 you stop breathing!
 

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It's bollocks.

Breathing 100% helium will kill you in a very short time because you'll suffocate. That's why it's dangerous.
 

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My understanding is that it if you breath Helium with out any 02 in the mix then C02 is not produced by the body and the brain needs C02 to trigger the automatic breathing process so with out the C02 you stop breathing!
Asphixiation. Of some sort?
 

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Simply put..we need oxygen to live so breathing 100% of anything but O2 will mean you're not getting O2, therefore you will die.
 

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Nigel Hewitt
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Total rubbish.
Helium is inert. Totally, absolutely inert.

I am told breathing pure helium is a good a way to go as any as the world just fades away but put enough O2 in it to keep you alive and it will keep you going indefinitely.

The only effect of helium on divers aside from HPNS which is a consequence of having too much bulk dissolved gas in your neural synapses just bunging things up is DCS.
Helium is a 'fast' gas. It gases on fast and in bulk but pays you back by gassing off fast too. However if you miss stops on helium you are far more trashed than missing the equivalent stops on nitrogen and that includes missing those deep stops.

Oxygen rips your lungs up. Maybe that is what he was thinking about. For something we have to breath every moment of our lives Oxygen is nasty stuff. Don't mess around with oxygen. Oxygen is the Rotweiler, Helium is just a fluffy kitten.
 

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I thought Balloon and party helium had to have 20% O2 in it because of the risk of kids breathing the stuff. Well they do dont they.

Gary
so do adults :embarassed:

With that mix, the kids would die laughing before the He did them in :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
How dangerous in Helium

Thanks people,

I know the bit about killing you because there's no o2 in 100% any gas (except 100% o2 that is:teeth: ), I just wasn't sure about the lung stripping bit. It did sound like cr*p, you lot have just confirmed it, thanks
 

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Apprentice houseplant
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Still, I'd rather drop that on my foot than a J of air. Not by much, but hey ;-)
 

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Nigel Hewitt
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helium is not fluffy when its contained in a J that falls on your foot!
A full J of Helium contains 1.3Kgs of gas.
A full J of Oxygen contains 13.2Kgs

I expect the helium not to be a significant contributor to your broken foot as a J, empty, probably weighs more than I do. :D

And as to helium not being cheap...
I'm not sure if I remember a dive below 40m that didn't have helium in it even though I did quite a few.
Not diving helium is expensive if I took all the costs of doing the dive but don't actually have anything to show for it.
 

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Duvet Diver
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Not on your wallet!
That's just a vicious rumor, I've just had a tin filled with 17/20 heliair for 2 40+m dives tomorrow and it cost me £3.47, which is only expensive if you compare it to the £0.75 air would cost.
As someone else says:-
"Helium, because I'm worth it!"

Simon A
 

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I was told breathing pure helium for to long will kill you by suffacation,it narrows the throat, hence the high pitched voice, dont know how much truth is in that.


M
 
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