Dwindling helium supply prompting concerns

December 31, 2007

A looming helium shortage has some U.S. citizens concerned about the impact the gas' availability will have on parades and even research.

While owners of U.S. party goods stores are concerned the rising cost of helium will directly impact their businesses, researchers such as Northwestern University Professor William Halperin are concerned about their research efforts, ABC News said Sunday.

"Without helium we'd be out of business," the physics professor said of the growing research concern.

Officials agree that in order to preserve the dwindling amount of helium, conservation efforts must take place for events such as the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

This year Macy's did recycle helium from many of its parade balloons, an effort experts say is integral if the gas is to remain available.

"There's no new sources being brought on line to make up that gap," Federal Helium Reserve manager Leslie Theiss, whose site holds more than a third of the known global helium supply, told ABC News.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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