(WIBX) - If your loved one doesn’t send you balloons today it might not be his fault.

A nation-wide shortage of helium is forcing party suppliers to ration or cut down on balloons this year.  Helium has been too cheap to force users to recycle it, and now we’re running out.

The effects of the dwindling nature of this non-renewable natural resource are being felt by more than just the party industry.  In addition to its more joyful applications, helium is used to cool MRI’s, infrared detectors, and nuclear reactors.

Helium is the second-lightest element in the universe.  According to a 1996 law which has drawn fire from conservationists, the U.S. National Helium Reserve, stored at a semi-secret location in Texas, must be sold off by 2015.