What IsHelium Toxicity ?


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"Inhaling this gas changes the way vibrations come through the voice box," said Dr. Earl Siegel, associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. "Sometimes people, as a party game or in jest, deliberately inhale helium into their lungs, and it has activity on the voice box that makes them talk like Donald Duck."

"Serious cases are rare and mostly related to the mechanical damage of introducing a highly compressed gas into your lungs," Siegel said. However, he pointed out that it is best not to set a poor precedent for children to follow.

The September 1996 Annals of Emergency Medicine reported that inhaling helium has resulted in seizure and lung damage. In one such instance, a 13-year-old boy became unconscious and had a ten-minute seizure after inhaling helium from a pressurized tank at a party.

Physicians discovered that the boy had a cerebral gas embolism, in addition to lung damage caused by uncontrollable lung expansion.

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