Helium is a by product of LPG extraction. Helium is collected when natural gas is mined, so the environmentl damage caused by helium extraction is negligible. Contrary to media reports, the world is not running out of helium. Identified helium reserves around the world are still plentiful.
The helium going into balloons is not reducing the supply of helium for MRI and other related medical equipment as the media has recently reported. Medical grade helium is 99.99% pure. MRI helium is 99.999% pure. This purification process costs inordinate amounts of money, but has to be done so the helium is suitable for vital medical euquipment to be able to keep operating in our hospitals. The helium that is deemed unfit for purification for medical use (up to 99% pure helium) is the stuff that we get access to for our balloons. This helium is suitable for manufacturing purposes and balloons. The manufacturing sector gets first priority at this helium because they are able to pay more and buy in bulk. The balloon industry is bottom of the food chain in terms of supply of helium. We are not the cause of the 2013 worldwide helium shortage. Most helium is used by the Medical Profession, Space Programs and manufacturing industries. The balloon and party industry uses approx 5%-7% of the supply of helium. However you won’t hear any of this information reported in the media, because never want to let the facts get in the way of a good story!
Having helium balloons for your events is NOT reducing the supply and availability of helium for use in life saving medical equipment.