Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, and plays a crucial role in NASA’s rocket launches, inflating vehicle airbags, and MRI scans, but you may not realize that we are facing a global helium shortage, known as Helium Shortage 3.0 that began February 2018, according to Kornbluth Helium Consulting’s president, Phil Kornbluth.
The scarcity of helium is affecting us right here in Osceola County and businesses are struggling to meet the high demand for party balloons and helium tanks, so prices have increased up to 100% in some cases. It has also become increasingly more difficult to buy Dollar Tree’s $1 party balloons because their fresh helium supply typically sells out in a single day, according to a local Saint Cloud Dollar Tree employee.
The cause of Helium Shortage 3.0 can be traced back to June 5, 2017, when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced an embargo which temporarily shutdown of Qatar’s helium production. Then the world’s major helium suppliers began to ration supply to their contract customers in February 2018. This is the third shortage of helium since 2006, according to Kornbluth.
Positively Osceola believes in educating, participating and informing the community to reduce consumption and find better ways to recycle helium because this irreplaceable and non-renewable resource is becoming harder to come by.
Washington University in St. Louis. “Helium Supplies Endangered, Threatening Science And Technology.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080102093943.htm>.