The federal government wants to sell off its helium reserve. Some industries are pushing back.

Feb 21, 2024
Congress decided to sell it off before demand for helium skyrocketed, thanks to MRIs and semiconductor chipmaking.
Helium is now an essential element for things like MRI machines.
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Helium's been rising — in price — and it's bringing businesses down

Jan 19, 2023
High helium prices, driven by shortages, played a role in Party City's bankruptcy. Here's what it means for businesses that rely on balloons.
Party City recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with the high cost of helium partly to blame.
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With helium in short supply, scientists are worried

May 26, 2022
Disruptions at helium processing plants have left a number of industries competing for a limited supply: healthcare, tech and manufacturing to name a few.
Even the U.S. weather service is cutting down on weather balloon use to preserve helium.
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The party balloon business rises, even without helium

May 10, 2019
After all, air is free.
A Party City store is seen on May 10, 2019 in Miami, Florida.  Party City announced that it will shutter 45 stores in 2019 due to a global helium shortage.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Why the government keeps a helium reserve

Jul 8, 2015
Originally for the military, it's now critical in medical and research labs.

Helium: Not Just the Stuff in Balloons

Nov 22, 2013
Helium is a valuable finite resource that is often wasted just for fun.

What's behind the helium shortage?

Apr 29, 2013
There have long been warnings that helium supplies are running out, but now we may know why. The answer comes down to dollars and cents.

For public good, not for profit.

Helium shortage causes prices to balloon

Sep 17, 2012
Helium is an abundant element that's vital to high-tech products. But slack production is causing a shortage, and that has helium prices ballooning.

What helium means in a world of screens

Aug 25, 2010
Nobel laureate and Cornell University physics professor Robert Richardson has a warning about helium.  The world is running out of it. And that...