Salt Lamps Naturally Improve Indoor Air Quality

A salt lamp can be a natural, homeopathic way to improve the quality of indoor air we breathe and beautify a home or office environment. There is also logical scientific basis for salt lamps' healthy effects on surrounding air and human well-being.
By: D.K. Wright
Salt Lamps from Ionicsalts
Salt Lamps from Ionicsalts
Nov. 11, 2009 - PRLog -- Indoor air quality is among the top five environmental health risks, according to the EPA1.  Today, Americans spend up to 90% of their day-to-day life indoors surrounded by asthma and respiratory allergy triggers such as mold, dust mites, pets, smoke, and more.  The increasing prevalence of both asthma and allergies over the last few decades has created a large industry in prescription medications amounting to over 6 billion dollars annually for asthma drugs alone2; this despite the handful of known side effects these may have.  Air cleaners can be helpful, but are often noisy, require regular maintenance and a good bit of electricity.  There is, however, an increasingly popular and eco-friendly tool to help improve indoor air, and even well-being.  Salt lamps are a natural alternative to consider for cleaner, healthier air.  A solid chunk of crystal salt warmed and glowing with a low-wattage incandescent bulb really can make a difference inside a room; and due to its hygroscopic3 properties, the differences are not just aesthetic.

The Himalayan salt lamp is the most common variety found in the United States, and originates from government-owned mines in the Himalayan foothills of eastern and northern Pakistan.  This crystalline salt is over 250 million years old, formed from this planet's pristine primal sea.  The purity and translucent, mineral-rich coloring create a warm, ambient glow when these salt lamps are lighted.  Colors of Himalayan salt can range from pure white through dark red, along with a variety of slate blue or grey.  Quality levels can vary widely, with the biggest differences being in visual quality of the salt chunk and craftsmanship of the lamp itself.  Cheaper is certainly not better when it comes to Himalayan salt lamps.  A salt crystal lamp will last a lifetime and beyond when used properly, so stick with premium quality4.

The most rare and valued variety of salt lamps these days are Persian salt lamps.  While prized for their rich spectrum of purple and blue coloring, the actual salt contained in these Iranian mines is predominantly white to cream colored.  The veins of purple color within the mine are thin, especially compared to the vast mines found in Pakistan, and this limits the amount of purple salt lamps that can be produced.  The colors produced by a premium-level purple Persian salt lamp can range almost anywhere in the purple spectrum including lavender, plum, indigo, and violet.  Blue specks permeate through kind of salt most notably on the outer lamp surface.  Standard-level Persian salt lamps are slightly more common, being purple mixed with white in color5.  Interestingly, these salt lamps could also have a cosmic origin as purple and blue salt was discovered inside fallen meteorites in 1998.  Read for more information.

Regardless of color, crystalline salt rocks share a common trait of attracting water molecules to their salt surface known as being hygroscopic.  The natural attraction of moisture from the air is the real secret of how a salt lamp works.  Widespread anecdotal claims about crystal salt "generating" negative ions have yet to be scientifically studied, documented, published, and peer reviewed.  This could likely be either a lack of available data, or simply an urban legend that has earned its share of skeptics over the years.  There is another theory about salt lamps realized by Ionicsalts, however, that logically suggests benefits come from two conditions created by the attraction of water and salt rather than simply negative ion generation.

As an aside, negative ions are well-known for benefitting immunity, the respiratory system, mood; increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain creating decreased drowsiness, higher alertness levels, and raising mental capacity in at least the one in three people that are sensitive to the effects6.  Contrarily, positive ions have been linked to problems such as fatigue, anxiety, headaches, and more.

In the average home or office, indoor air has an electrical balance of both positive and negative ions; yet naturally holds a slight positive electrical charge due in large part to technology and machines, along with airborne moisture and particulates that attach to these floating water molecules such as mold, fungi, bacteria, viruses, allergens, etc.  These particulates cannot remain airborne and viable without the positive-charged water molecule.  In the first condition created by a salt lamp, moisture is drawn to the surface of the lamp through the air.  Reduced airborne humidity reduces the amount of floating respiratory irritants and asthma triggers by forming an inhospitable environment.  These irritants and triggers eventually fall harmlessly to the floor.  The surrounding indoor air becomes naturally cleaner.

The second condition a salt lamp can create in an indoor space is altering the electrical balance of an area.  As the natural balance of positive and negative ions exists in ambient air, removing positively charged particles increases the ratio in favor of negative ions.  This is measurable.  It's possible that a negatively-charged ionic field exists to some extent around a warm salt lamp, but this field is likely small because negative ions have a rather short life span.  Lastly, the warmth of a lighted salt lamp creates an upward convection current of air creating slight circulation and accelerating the process of moisture evaporation on the salt surface.  This action further enhances the overall effect salt lamps can have in a room.

Salt lamps can be a beautiful and natural way to breathing healthier indoor air.  They are not medical devices, nor have they been officially recognized as diagnosing, curing, or treating any disease; alternative medicine receives little to no funding for such things.  As with anything homeopathic or holistic, results vary between individuals and environments based on personal sensitivities.  One thing is certain, indoor air quality can noticeably improve with a lighted salt lamp around.


# # # is a leading Himalayan salt company and importer based in Charlotte, NC, USA. Family-owned and operated, the company was founded in 2004 and has since gained a market reputation of offering the highest quality products and information with friendly, hassle-free service. Specialized in premium-quality salt lamps, bath salt, and gourmet edible pink salt. Retail, wholesale, and direct import. Please visit for more information about Himalayan salt and salt lamps:

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