NBC News interviews Scott Reeder about potential helium shortage

Posted on February 2024

NBC News interviewed Scott Reeder, MD, PhD for the article “The U.S. just sold its helium stockpile. Here’s why the medical world is worried” that was published January 25, 2024.  

The article highlights the use of helium in medical sciences, particularly its notable feature of being the only element on earth cold enough to keep magnets in MRI machines cool, a vital requirement for the machines to function. 

Dr. Reeder spoke to the versatility that MRI offers in the field, noting “MRI is playing an increasingly important role in detection, treatment, monitoring and prognosis of so many diseases, and we’re going to have to think carefully as a field about how to ensure the supply chain doesn’t get to a state of crisis.” 

He also offered that there are ways to reduce non-essential usage of helium, suggesting that “it’s probably not good to use helium for party balloons anymore.” 

This isn’t the first time Dr. Reeder has spoken to NBC News about the issue – they relied on his expertise in the 2023 article “The world is running out of helium. Here’s why doctors are worried.”