Helium shortage is no gas 0
Anyone who's tried to purchase helium balloons lately may have found themselves a bit deflated.
That's because of a global helium shortage that has the gas being reserved for scientific and medical purposes.
“We're out of helium and can't get it,” said Debbie Johnston, owner of Minden Florist.
Johnston said it's been two weeks since she's been able to get helium and her supplier, Praxair, has said it could be at least October before more is available.
“They're saving what's there for hospitals,” Johnston said.
She's had to turn away about half a dozen customers who've come to her shop looking for helium balloons.
Another Minden business that didn't wish to part of the story has a sign on its door limiting families to one helium balloon each until the shortage is over.
Businesses in Haliburton Village seem to have a bit more of the precious gas remaining.
“We do have some helium left,” said Joanne Nichols of Country Rose Garden Centre.
However, Nichols, who also deals with Praxair, has been notified there will likely be no more coming until at least October.
Nichols said a couple of years ago, there was a near shortage, but suppliers never actually went into conservation mode.
“We do a lot of balloon sales,” she said, adding that as an alternative to helium, the business can give balloons a floating effect using cups and sticks. “It will make a dent.”
At The Dollar Store and Beyond, manager Brenda Anger said the business had not been affected yet, but she was aware of the shortage.
“I've heard of it,” she said. “In the city, a lot of places are out.”
Helium is a naturally occurring, non-renewable gas that is often extracted from the earth along with natural gas.
It has a number of scientific and medical purposes, including as a coolant in MRI scanners.