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I read the article about helium causing your voice to sound high-pitched because it is much lighter than air, but I am curious if it is true that helium is bad for your vocal cords.

According to Steven M. Barlow, professor and director of the Communication Neuroscience Laboratories at Kansas University, inhaling a small amount of helium from a toy balloon at room temperature will not damage the vocal folds, but you should breathe air normally for a few minutes after doing so. While helium is nontoxic, inhaling an excessive amount can displace oxygen needed for normal breathing. Inhaling helium directly from a gas cylinder is extremely dangerous, however, because the high pressure can fatally rupture the lungs.


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