SAN ANTONIO -- What do balloons and MRI’s have in common? Both rely on helium. But the gas is going up, up and away in price during a nationwide shortage.
There has been a shortage of helium for the past month and suppliers don’t see it stabilizing until at least November. The last on the priority chain are flower shops where a single helium balloon can go for $6.
MRI’s use helium to cool the magnets in the machines which may get overheated. Their supplies are important to run the machines so they may be more susceptible to higher prices. Welders also use helium for certain type of welds, but suppliers say their inventory may be cut in half during shortages.