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Helium shortage, balloon issues carry over into new year

If you’ve been paying attention to the news cycle over the past month, you know there’s been a massive helium shortage affecting plenty of businesses. But not just the balloon business; MRIs, semiconductors, rocket engine testing and so many others also use helium, and companies are being forced to wait to restock. Stores have since increased balloon-filling costs, nearly doubling in some cases.

On Cape Cod, Orleans, Massachusetts has developed a proposal banning the sale and release of balloons filled with helium and other gases. Surrounding areas including Chatham, Nantucket and Block Island have already set the same ban, according to a local news story.

Aside from the helium shortage, balloon material iteslf is a concern. a New Year’s Eve party in the Philippines planned a massive balloon drop as its centerpiece, but cancelled the release of 130,000 latex balloons after receiving backlash regarding the ecological impact. Not only from citizens, but also organizations such as Greenpeace Philippines, and even the Department of Environment and Natural Resources encouraged party planners to reconsider the original plan. According to a Party Worldwide news story, the resort stated it “‘voluntarily decided to cancel the even ‘as a sign of respect’ for the government’s campaign to protect the environment.”

We’ll keep an eye on what’s happening in the helium market in order to provide you with the most up-to-date information.

Originally posted Monday, Jan. 7, 2019

Tags: helium, helium shortage