From one science website:
ScienceDaily (Jan. 5, 2008) — In America, helium is running out of gas.
This deflates more than the Goodyear blimp and party favors. Its larger impact is on science and technology, according to Lee Sobotka, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and physics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
"Helium's use in science is extremely broad, but its most important use is as a coolant," said Sobotka, a specialist in nuclear chemistry and physics who collaborates with researchers at several national laboratories.
Generally the larger users of helium (He), such as the national laboratories, have the infrastructure to efficiently use and recycle helium, Sobotka said. The same cannot be said of many smaller scale users.