Helium gas is lighter than air. While hydrogen is the lightest element on Earth, helium gas is now being preferred more for industrial use. It is deemed safer than hydrogen because it is unreactive to other elements and doesn’t cause explosions. It is odorless and tasteless when in pure form (not mixed with other substances). The public has easy access to it and this is proven by the availability of helium gas cylinder products in the market.
It is normal to see helium gas cylinder units in hospitals. Apparently, this gas has some very important medical applications. Some treatments used in hospitals require helium as a stabilizer. Oxygen is also mixed with helium for stability under pressurized environments. The production of clear MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) also requires this gas. There are ongoing researches about other possible medical applications of helium.
Tanks carried by scuba divers contain a certain percentage of helium. There is a ratio between oxygen and helium that keeps divers alive when in great depths.
Probably, the biggest beneficiary of the applications of this gas is the industrial sector. The properties of this element make it desirable for use in a wide variety of construction and manufacturing processes. Helium is used as a coolant in metal fabrication and production. It is also used in building magnets, electronic circuits, and other similar things.
Don’t be surprised if you see helium gas cylinder units or tanks in homes too. Helium is widely used in party balloons today. It is a safer alternative for hydrogen when balloons are needed. Of course, the domestic uses of helium are not limited to this. Its applications are just too many to enumerate here.