Salt Lamps Heal! Said No Scientist Ever.

Salt Lamp Myth

Salt is great in your food.  Not so much as a magical healing device. 

Salt Lamps 101

Salt lamps come in varying shapes, colors, and sizes. However, a salt lamp is generally a light bulb placed within a block or blocks of rock salt. Plug this “enchanted” light in, turn it on, and suddenly you will fill your room with negatively charged ions that will purify the air, chemically change your mood, lower blood pressure, and even heal chronic ailments.

The claim by salt lamp manufactures is that the salt on the lamp attracts water from the air.  Then the trapped water is burned off using the energy generated by the light bulb.  This burn-off process causes an ionic reaction which disperses a large amount of negatively charged ions.

Sounds somewhat logical, cool, and scientific, right?  Unfortunately, this logic is not sound and at best this is just marketing at its worst.

Debunking the Gimmick

The popular debunking site (a site that should be on your favorites bar) ventured into the science of salt lamps further. Noting that a Caltech Professor of Chemistry took one of these lamps to his lab and had it tested for its ability to release Ions.  Not surprisingly not a single ion was detected when placed in a Quadrupole Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer.  

Delving further into the science, it turns out that the structural shape (cubical) of a salt crystal hinders its ability to potentially generate a high enough electrical field to produce any ions.

Claims that sound too good to be true (better sleep, electric fog, mood enhancing, pH balance, etc.) are generally too good to be true and should be easily ignored.  Though a salt lamp may be a great mood light when it comes to enhancing the beauty of a room, it’s probably best to save your money for things that have been proven by science to heal ailments and purify the air


Read more about salt – the benefits, the history, and its pointless pink cousin here:

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