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ERIC Number: EJ920322
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Auditory Risk of Exploding Hydrogen-Oxygen Balloons
Gee, Kent L.; Vernon, Julia A.; Macedone, Jeffrey H.
Journal of Chemical Education, v87 n10 p1039-1044 Oct 2010
Although hydrogen-oxygen balloon explosions are popular demonstrations, the acoustic impulse created poses a hearing damage risk if the peak level exceeds 140 dB at the listener's ear. The results of acoustical measurements of hydrogen-oxygen balloons of varying volume and oxygen content are described. It is shown that hydrogen balloons may be used without auditory risk to typically situated participants. It is further shown that even small (approximately 0.1 mol total) hydrogen-oxygen balloons cannot be exploded without precaution, that is, ensuring that participants have hearing protection or are located sufficiently far away. In all cases, it is recommended that the presenter wear hearing protection. (Contains 6 figures and 1 table.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A