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Do Himalayan Salt Lamps Clean the Air?

Kristie Leong M.D. is a family practitioner who believes in the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and fight illness.

Do Himalayan salt lamps clean the air? Many people have poor air quality in their home and aren’t aware of it. Many factors cause indoor air pollution, including:

  • Household cooking and heating appliances
  • Poorly ventilated homes
  • Smoking indoors and second-hand smoke
  • Chemicals used in building materials and furniture
  • Particles that people bring into the house on their shoes

If you live in an area that experiences wildfires, you may be exposed to ash and debris that enters your home and poses a risk to your health. Plus, many people suffer from allergies and poor air quality can cause coughing, sneezing, and water eyes.

The Risks Of Indoor Air Pollution: Can A Himalayan Salt Lamp Help?

Indoor air pollution is a bigger problem than you think. According to OurWorldInData.org, indoor air pollution is a top cause of early death in some countries. It’s a risk factor for health issues like lung problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and lung cancer.

Can a Himalayan salt lamp help you breathe easier? There’s a common belief that Himalayan salt lamps help clear the air of pollutants and make indoor air safer to breathe. Is there any truth to this idea?

What Is a Himalayan Salt Lamp?

Himalayan salt lamps are made from natural rock salt crystals mined in the foothills of the Himalayas. These crystals are heated to a high temperature, causing them to melt into liquid form.

Manufacturers then pour the liquid into molds shaped like a lamp. When the liquid cools, it takes on the shape of the mold and becomes solid again. In the middle, they place a light bulb that emits a gentle glow.

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People use these types of lamps for decorative purposes or because they believe they have health benefits or clean the air. Some sources say salt lamps sterilize the air by emitting negative ions that attract positively charged particles like pollen, dust, and other pollutants, so they're removed from the air.

However, there are no studies that confirm these benefits and no studies that support the health claims manufacturers make about these lamps.

Himalayan Salt Lamps Won't Replace An Air Purifier

Don’t use a Himalayan salt lamp as a replacement for an air purifier. There’s no scientific data showing these lamps purify the air or make the air healthier to breathe. Sources and theories claim the lamps have health benefits but these claims are untested and unproven.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one if you like the way it looks. The gentle pink glow they cast is beautiful to look at and some people believe it gives a room a relaxing atmosphere. They can also be calming and a conversation starter. Plus, they provide a soft source of light for your home.

If you want to clean your air, there are many other products on the market that do a better job at improving air quality than salt lamps. Unlike air purifiers, there’s no evidence that salt lamps remove allergens, like dust mites and pollen, from the air.

There’s also no evidence that Himalayan salt lamps are unsafe to use. If you use these lamps as directed, they shouldn't pose health risks. Just don’t buy into the hype that they have "magical" health benefits.

Do Himalayan Salt Lamps Clean The Air?

Scientific evidence does not support the claim that Himalayan salt lamps can clean the air. If you want to improve your home's air quality, use an air purifier instead.

If you like the atmosphere that a Himalayan salt lamp creates, it may be worth getting one don’t expect it to remove air pollution or allergens from your home or help you breathe easier. That’s what an air purifier is for and there are a variety of air purifiers available at varying prices.

Also, be aware that some online sites sell low-quality Himalayan salt lamps that emit a dim light and don’t offer the same experience as a high-quality lamp. Buy from a reputable seller and ask questions before making a purchase.

References:

  • "Indoor Air Quality | US EPA." 07 Sept. 2021, https://www.epa.gov/report-environment/indoor-air-quality.
  • "Indoor Air Pollution - Our World in Data." https://ourworldindata.org/indoor-air-pollution.
  • Rashleigh R, Smith SM, Roberts NJ. A review of halotherapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2014 Feb 21;9:239-46. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S57511. PMID: 24591823; PMCID: PMC3937102.
  • "How air pollution is destroying our health - World Health Organization." 29 Oct. 2018, https://www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/how-air-pollution-is-destroying-our-health.

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