EDITOR:

Having lost several loved ones throughout the years, I certainly understand the need to reach out and feel connected to them once again. That said, please do it in some other way than a balloon launch. What the environment does not need is any more pollution.

Latex balloons are considered biodegradable, but that can take four months to a year to happen, and in the meantime, a lot of damage can take place.

Balloons can reach 20 miles into the sky and then return to land and water where they are mistaken for food and eaten by animals. Birds, turtles, whales, dolphins and other animals have been reported with balloons in their stomachs and ribbons and strings can lead to entanglement causing death. (See the website of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife for photos of the damage they can do.)

Mylar balloons are not biodegradable and should never be released. Some states have banned balloon releases due to the damage they can cause and I wish Kentucky would join them.

Please consider planting a tree, flowers, putting up a birdhouse, something more permanent and beneficial as a memorial and a long-lasting one to your loved one's memory.

TRACY TOPCIK

Paducah

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