How the Helium Shortage Could Put People and Businesses at Risk

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    Helium is a naturally-occurring gas used for a variety of tasks, including natural gas leak detection. Originally discovered by two astronomers, Pierre Janssen and Norman Lockyer, during a spectral analysis of sunlight in 1868, the substance is named after the Greek word for the sun, helios. Helium has a number of useful qualities, including its buoyancy and lack of reactivity, which makes it safe to use in a number of capacities. For this reason, helium is most commonly associated with airships, blimps, and ballons, as it helps these creations float without the risk of fire or explosion.

    Despite the many benefits of helium, however, the world is currently experiencing a global shortage of this popular gas. Although it is the second most common element in the universe and is supplied by a num