Helium Shortage could have major Healthcare consequences

The things you learn while surfing the web can either be extremely interesting……..or a complete waste of time!  This however falls into the first category and is something I have never thought about.

Dr. Peter Wothers, a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a University of Cambridge chemist, believes there will be a “serious problem” in 30-50 years if we don’t stop using helium is party balloons:

Helium is a non-renewable gas that is used to cool magnets in MRI scanners in hospitals. It is also mixed with oxygen to make breathing easier for ill patients and can help save new-born babies’ lives. The scarcity of helium is a really serious issue. I can imagine that in 50 years time our children will be saying ‘I can’t believe they used such a precious material to fill balloons’

There is a global shortage of the gas and it cannot be synthesized. Helium has to be extracted from beneath the earth’s crust and 75% of the world’s helium comes from the United States.

This article originated at the Telegraph, however they decided to remove it. We are leaving it on our site for archiving purposes. They may have removed it because this may not be as dire as we originally were told. Head over to Wire to read more of an update on this.

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