No balloons for our party…

English: Spectrum of helium

English: Spectrum of helium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My latest discovery…balloon shortage. Wait. No, that’s not right. It’s actually helium shortage. But it may as well be a balloon shortage because what fun is a balloon without helium?

Maybe this is not news for you, but it’s definitely news for us. I just found out that we are in helium shortage since some months ago. How come this is the first time I heard of it? Hmmm

How did I discover this? I called a party store a few days ago asking them to do some balloons for our party coming up and whoops, we don’t have the stuff. I thought the nice lady that answered the phone is playing a prank on me. :) So I looked up this helium shortage while I was talking to her and found out that it’s legitimate.

Helium shortage. What does that mean? It means no party balloons for our upcoming party. Besides, party balloons, there’s serious uses too. Hospitals uses helium. For example, MRI machines in hospital, respiratory machines for burn victims, etc. I don’t believe hospitals are affected by this helium shortage, though I believe they are affected by the pricing of the stuff, so in a way, they are affected. I understand why the party stores are going to be out of helium if our hospitals are having a hard time getting it for life-saving purposes. Between saving a life and having a party. I am all for helium saving a life.

So why do we have a shortage? Are we running out of this stuff? Apparently, it’s due to a production shortage. According to all the articles I read, a plant in Texas supply a huge percentage of helium for worldwide usage, and because it’s under construction (or due to economic of operating such a plant), it’s not meeting the demand, so the helium that’s currently on the market is ultra expensive and to a point, where there’s no supply at all. Other plants in other states and countries are in process of trying to meet supply, but they are not up and running yet.

I thought I will give you guys a heads up as we head into holiday planning.

Here are some articles talking about this shortage you may find informative:

What Great Helium Shortage by Tim Worstall 8/27/2012 (Forbes)

Helium shortage hits party stores, not hospitals by Kimberly Fornek 6/26/2012 (Western Springs – Suntimes)

Helium shortage? Bureaucrats, firms are creating too little hot air by Laurent Belsie 10/2/2012 (The Christian Science Monitor)

Why is there a Helium Shortage? By Bobby Magill 6/25/2012 (Popular Mechanics)

8 responses to “No balloons for our party…

  1. I had no idea, but come to think about it I haven’t seen as many balloons for birthdays, and other events. I cannot wait to read the articles because I can only imagine how much the hospitals are paying for helium.

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