Pink Himalayan salt lamps are all over the market. Like any other lamp, these salt lamps have a bulb inside them that gives off light. Each bulb is surrounded by large chunks of pink Himalayan salt crystals. The process of heating these crystals to produce light is said to have positive effects on health, such as decreasing depression and improving indoor air quality. Do these lamps truly have any positive effect on health?

Negative ion production

Pink Himalayan salt lamps on Amazon cost anywhere from $8 to over $2,000. Since the highest quality lamps can be very expensive, it is important to understand whether these lamps have any real benefit. These lamps are supposed to help combat stress and anxiety, clean the air around it and get rid of excess positive ions in the air caused by electronics. Some even claim that having a pink Himalayan salt lamp in the home has helped them cope with seasonal affective disorder.

It is very hard to determine the efficacy of salt lamps because there have been few studies conducted on them. Most of the data that is used to prove or disprove the benefits of salt lamp relies on coming to conclusions based off of unrelated studies. In terms of chemistry, it makes sense that salt lamps would produce negative ions. It is a fact that electronic devices produce positive ions, and there have been scientific studies to prove that negative ions can help to sanitize medical equipment and has a positive effect on mental health. These facts seem to suggest that salt lamps should improve air quality and improve mental health problems like depression and anxiety, but there have been no studies to prove that salt lamps produce enough negative ions to cause these results. The studies merely prove the medical-grade negative ions producing machines cause air purification and positive mental health results.

Are negative ions really bad?

The effectiveness or non-effectiveness of pink Himilayan salt lamps hinges on two factors: Are positive ions bad for the body, and do pink Himilayan salt lamps produce enough negative ions to have a positive effect on the body? In a paper called Positive Ion Poisoning, Professor G.S. Rahi states, “More than 5,000 scientific documents, based on research in Israel, Europe, and the Orient, support the concept that high doses of negative ions have a positive effect while the opposite is true with exposure to high amounts of positive ions.” There is sound scientific evidence that positive ions have a negative effect on overall health.

There is not enough scientific evidence to prove that Himilayan salt lamps release negative ions into the air. There have not been any full-scale large studies on the ions produced by these lamps. A professor at Caltech used a mass spectrometer to measure the ions surrounding a pink salt lamp, and he found that no ions, negative or positive, were produced by the lamps. The results of his study were included in a YouTube video about the efficacy of these lamps.

Should you use salt lamps?

Are pink Himalayan salt lamps effective? There is no evidence that directly proves that they have any positive impact on health or the cleanliness of the air. Should you use them? So far, there is no scientific evidence that pink Himalayan salt lamps are dangerous. Since they are made of salt, these lamps do reduce moisture in the air, so they have a level of dehumidification properties. Many consider the warm glow from the pink lamps to be beautiful, so looking at the lamp can have a calming effect. While a pink salt lamp may not be a medically effective “cure” for mental health disorders, people who suffer from anxiety, seasonal affective disorder, and similar problems, may benefit from the calming effect of the warm glow.