The Balloon Council, a pro-balloon lobbying organization, makes the following claims on its website:
A latex balloon is made from 100 percent organic material and is 100 percent biodegradable. Stress caused by inflation starts this decomposition cycle. Exposure to sunlight accelerates the process – oxygen and ozone continue the molecular attack, even in the dark. Deterioration is clearly evident within a few hours – it begins to oxidize or "frost"—and soon the balloon will break apart. Research has shown that under similar conditions latex decomposes at the same rate as an oak leaf.
So essentially, I question whether or not latex balloons are biodegradable and to what extent (how, for example, do they compare to oak leaves)?