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Metallic balloons spark controversy

April 8, 2008 |  4:22 pm

Mylar_balloons_cause_power_outages You see a cute little balloon, a utility company sees a power outage. State lawmakers meanwhile, are looking into a ban the sale of helium-filled metallic balloons.

"When these metallic or Mylar, balloons get trapped in power lines, they can do a lot of damage, not just to power lines, but to surrounding businesses that lose power," Senator Jack Scott (D-Altadena) told the state Senate Public Safety Committee.

Scott said he introduced the ban, in Senate Bill 1499, at the request of Burbank officials concerned that businesses, including major movie studios, are losing power too frequently because of balloon-triggered outages.

Metallic balloons, which have caused 63 power outages in Burbank since 1993, can cost businesses $220,000 or more each minute. The Balloon Council (you learn something new every day) says the state's overreacting. Read the full story here.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Associated Press