Don’t waste your money on a salt lamp

Some salt lamps can look quite beautiful as an ornament. But if you are thinking of buying one because you’ve heard it may give you some health benefits, forget it.

Salt lamp

I was amused to see salt lamp listing on Amazon recently. It started with an 84-word description of the many wonderful health benefits customers could expect to experience simply by inserting a light bulb and turning the lamp on. The list included reduced allergy or asthma symptoms, reduced stress, improved sleep, boosted blood flow, increased levels of serotonin in the brain, increased levels of energy, improved air quality, the prevention of build-up of static electricity and neutralization of electromagnetic radiation.

This was quickly followed, in somewhat broken English, by a disclaimer:

Please Note: All of claimed benefits about Himalayan salt lamps based on customers or user believe/feedback. No one seller or manufacturer of Himalayan salt lamps have any scientific proof to support the health benefits claim.

In other words, all the claims being made have no scientific basis whatsoever.

No scientific evidence

I understand very well that some things cannot be verified by scientific testing. If the effects are purely energetic, it’s often the case that equipment to measure it does not yet exist. However, the health claims reported by sellers of salt lamps are all within the range of tests that can easily be scientifically proven or disproved.

The supposed miraculous health benefits of salt lamps are all based on the premise that salt emits negative ions when it is warmed by the light bulb being turned on. Negative ions can be scientifically measured, yet no study has ever confirmed that salt lamps emit them.

The fact-checking site Snopes reports that Caltech professor of chemistry Jack Beauchamp conducted an experiment in his lab where he hooked up a salt lamp to a quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer, but he was not able to detect any increase in either negative or positive ions. In fact, he said, ‘I can’t think of any physical process that would result in the formation of ions from heating rock salt’.

Electromagnetic hazard

The claim that salt lamps can neutralize electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is one of the most ridiculous in the list. All the electric salt lamps I’ve ever tested with an electromagnetic fields meter give off very high levels of EMFs themselves, in the range of 150 – 200 volts per metre. When positioned a good distance away from where anyone regularly spends time, such as in the far corner of a room, the harmful effects of this will be negligible. But this type of lamp is  certainly not something you would ever want to put on your bedside table or as a centrepiece in your home.

So do salt lamps have any use at all? If you happen to like how they look and want to buy one as a decorative item, fine. But that’s as far as their usefulness goes.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2022

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About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui, and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must-read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fifth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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