lead in Himalayan salt

Himalayan Salt – Flint on Global Scale?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Over dinner last night,  CNN news brought the Flint, Michigan, lead poisoning in water up for a closer look and discussion. Dr. Sanjay Gupta visited a family and discussed the problems in great detail from the medical point of view. One particular sentence caught my attention: 5 parts of lead per billion is a health concern. Five parts in a billion is a very small number but I remembered Himalayan salt spectral analysis that has a table on its website about Himalayan salt–among other things we eat.

I noted that the lead in Himalayan salt is 0.10 ppm (parts per million), so how much is that in a billion? There are 1000 millions in a billion so 0.10 * 1000 = 100 ppb. This means that while 5 ppb is of health concern in Flint and is getting kids and adults sick, Himalayan salt has 100 ppb! That is twenty times as large lead-dose than what is harming people in Flint, Michigan.

100 ppb Lead in Himalayan Salt

In the past few weeks, I have participated in many discussions (some not so nice) in various Facebook groups about the so called benefit of the many “minerals” of using Himalayan salt. Well, I wonder if getting twenty times the dose of what is considered to be unsafe in lead consumption is considered to be a healthy mineral or if it will now silence the opposition.

While I understand that eating salt is small in quantity relative to drinking water, why eat salt with lead when we can choose salt without lead? Himalayan salt also has mercury. There is no safe level of mercury for humans. The safe level is zero. Himalayan salt has additional wonderful radioactive elements in it like plutonium and uranium and about fifty others like it. Does anyone like radioactive materials to eat?

I do not wish to bore anyone with any mathematics since how much lead or mercury one eats a day is really irrelevant. What is extremely relevant though is that lead is heavy metal and heavy metals in your body remain for life. There is absolutely nothing we can do to remove lead from the body with our current medical acumen. If you choose to continue to eat Himalayan salt, lead (and mercury and all radioactive heavy metals) will continue to deposit in your body. At one point it will reach the level at which time you will get sick.

Note I did not write you might get sick but wrote that you will reach dangerous levels at which point you will start noticing illness.

Symptoms of lead poisoning are:

Neurological Effects

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Fatigue / Irritability
  • Impaired concentration
  • Hearing loss
  • Wrist / Foot drop
  • Seizures
  • Encephalopathy

Gastrointestinal Effects

  • Nausea
  • Dyspepsia
  • Constipation
  • Colic
  • Lead line on gingival tissue

Reproductive Effects

  • Miscarriages/Stillbirths
  • Reduced sperm count & motility
  • Abnormal sperm
  • Heme Synthesis
  • Anemia
  • Erythrocyte protoporphyrin elevation

Renal Effects

  • Chronic nephropathy with proximal tubular damage
  • Hypertension
  • Arthralgia
  • Myalgia

To find out the full spectrum of conditions lead poisoning can cause and how to prevent it (other than stop eating Himalayan salt), follow this link.

If you feel you may have lead poisoning, please call this number:

1 (800) 222-1222 American Association of Poison Control Centers

For your health: please stop eating Himalayan salt. If you can avoid a tragedy, do.

Comments and questions are welcome.



Since I published this article, the FDA has posted warnings against using chelated OTC medications. The following is the FDA warning published today:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reminding consumers to be wary of so-called “chelation” products that are marketed over-the-counter (OTC) to prevent or treat diseases such as lead poisoning. These products are not FDA approved.

Chelation involves the use of certain chemicals to remove heavy metals from the body. In medicine, chelation has been used for the treatment of metal poisoning, among other conditions.
FDA has never approved any chelation product for OTC use for any health condition. All FDA-approved chelation products require a prescription because they can only be used safely under the supervision of a health care practitioner.
Illegal OTC chelation products are frequently marketed to deceive consumers into thinking they are taking a product that has been evaluated by FDA. Companies that make unapproved products often highlight that their product contains the same ingredient as an FDA-approved drug, suggesting that it is OK for them to market their drug without FDA approval. However, this is not permitted. Under FDA law and regulations, the company first must show that its product (whether or not it includes a previously-approved drug) is safe and effective before it may be marketed. The OTC chelation products have not been subject to the rigorous approval process and manufacturing scrutiny required for FDA-approved products, and are therefore not being legally marketed.
For more information please visit: Chelation
I felt it important to post this update in light of some of the comments that suggests that chelation removes heavy metals from the body. Apparently the FDA disagrees! Please take note!

We Need Your Help

More people than ever are reading Hormones Matter, a testament to the need for independent voices in health and medicine. We are not funded and accept limited advertising. Unlike many health sites, we don’t force you to purchase a subscription. We believe health information should be open to all. If you read Hormones Matter, like it, please help support it. Contribute now.

Yes, I would like to support Hormones Matter. 

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Unsplash.

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist who evaluates changes in behavior, chronic pain, decision-making, as a result of hormonal variations in the brain. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines.

As a migraineur, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself.

She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic mutations of insulin and glucose transporters, and voltage gated sodium and calcium channel mutations. Such mutations cause major shifts in a migraine brain, unlike that of a non-migraine brain. A non-migraineur can handle electrolyte changes on autopilot. A migraineur must always be on manual guard for such changes to maintain electrolyte homeostasis.

The book Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: How To Treat and Prevent Migraines Without Medicines - An Insider's View explains why we have migraines, how to prevent them and how to stay migraine (and medicine) free for life.

Because of the success of the first edition and new research and findings, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know at the moment and also some hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest.

While working on the 2nd edition of the book she also published academic articles:

"Migraine Cause and Treatment" Mental Health in family Medicine, November 23, 2015, open access
"Functional Prodrome in Migraines" Journal of Neurological Disorders, January 22, 2016, open access
"Are Statistics Misleading Sodium Reduction Benefits?", Journal of Medical Diagnostic Method, February 3, 2016, open access
“A Comment on Severe Headache or Migraine History Is Inversely Correlated With Dietary Sodium Intake: NHANES 1999-2004” Angela A Stanton PhD, 19 July 2016 DOI: 10.1111/head.12861 not open access, membership required to read it.

Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers.

For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook


  1. Table salt contains additives(”flow agents” and ‘keep dry agents’ and ”preservatives’) such as: aluminium, iron, cyanide, glass etc.. are you happy eating these?

    • Dear Joel,

      I don’t know about you but I’d much rather eat the minimal additives in my table salt than what’s in Himalayan salt:

      Many of the above are serious toxins and some are radioactive. If this is what you prefer instead of a tiny amount of dextrose (glucose, which keeps the salt dry and shakable from salt shakers even in humid conditions) and calcium sulfate (anti-caking), then by all means. 🙂 The “aluminium, iron, cyanide, glass etc.. are you happy eating these?” is actually in the Himalayan salt.


      • I was horrified when I saw people thinking Himalayan salt was a good idea for their fatigue, which very well could be another halogen, like fluoride, blocking the iodide binding site. Fluoride is the most electronegative molecule that exists.

        I’m not well and I was chatting with a man who was also seeking treatments to get better and we started to talk about salt baths, sea salt, magnesium chloride and borax in a 20/3/1 ratio (grams/liter). My legs haven’t felt normal since November and the salt bath made me feel amazing. Well, he said he’d tried a salt bath and he said “1 cup Himalayan salt…”

        I started to explain that the stuff was high in fluoride and if you actually look on a map for the traditional regions that used the pink salt, those are the regions with high levels of goiter, and dig deeper, the rejection of iodized table salt has resulted in a return of goiter, or at least it has been on the rise.

        It was I started to talk about the goiter, there was an omg minute, as this guy was seeking help for his thyroid problem…

        I had not focused on the degree of other metals that are not desirable for health as the fluoride was enough to turn me in an anti-Himalayan salt advocate. My sister had been a huge promoter of it, and she was in the later stages of ALS when I was researching treatments to displace fluoride and one was to consume a lot of regular salt, and it is outlined in medical book for metabolic disease. It was when another friend with ALS said she’d tried that and it just made her sicker, and then she added “pink salt” in her description of what she did, and that’s when I started to research the nature of the “natural” minerals.

        What a mess and thank you for making me think about all the other toxic heavy metals in Himalayan salt.

        • Thanks for your comment Deborah,

          Indeed! A lot of people fall into the trap of clever and quite deceitful advertisements. I can only hope that many people read this article and all of my other articles on Himalayan salt. I am glad you discovered this and that you decided to do a bit of research.


  2. Hi Angela,

    Have you seen this salt analysis?
    They conclude:
    “Lead levels in the majority of the salts tested ranged around 0.5 µg/g. Four of the black or grey salts contained around 1 µg/g of lead. The highest concentration of lead (1.3 µg/g) was found in
    Sample #4. Lead levels in table salt were 0.44 µg/g.”

    They tested 14 salts with a range of .4 ppm to 1.3 ppm. Interesting that table salt tested at .44 ppm lead. Perhaps there isn’t any salt that is lead free, or very low lead?

    • Indeed John! Which was the least amount of lead in all (but one) salt tested! Correct? In fact, note as you quoted:

      “Lead levels in the majority of the salts tested ranged around 0.5 µg/g. Four of the black or grey salts contained around 1 µg/g of lead. The highest concentration of lead (1.3 µg/g) was found in Sample #4 [Sel Gris De Guerande]. Lead levels in table salt were 0.44 µg/g.”

      So therefore, the least amount of lead is in the table salt. It doesn’t detail which salt was 0.4.

      It also noted the minerals in general:

      “This study shows that the highest concentration of elements were found in the darker or deeply colored salts. The Kala Namak Black mineral salt (#11) had the highest concentration of Arsenic, Mercury, Vanadium…”

      This shows that the least amount of arsenic and vanadium (a radioactive material: “Naturally occurring vanadium is composed of one stable isotope, 51V, and one radioactive isotope, 50V. The latter has a half-life of 1.5×1017 years and a natural abundance of 0.25%.”) is in the “reagent grade NaCl [salt] and generic table salt contained the least amounts of the elements examined.”

      To me “least amount” implies better when it comes to toxic stuff.”

      Reference point matters. 🙂

      Thanks for bringing what appears to be an independent research (funding source unknown) into the open.

      Happy New Year to you,

      • Delighted that you have exploded the myth and fad of “Himalayan” pink salt. I buy proper iodized salt by the kilo at a very low price, and it is pure, pure, White!

          • So I’d like to ask you if you have ever heard about white salt being bleached and avoiding it for this reason? I know plenty of folks in my family and work community alone who talk about this. What are your thoughts?

            • Sure Cheri, all table salt types are indeed bleached but not in order to be white–salt is naturally white (transparent actually but appears white in light), head to Death Valley in California to sample the leftover sea salt from the long-ago ocean in the deepest point (huge salt field), but be sure to wear sunglasses; the salt is blindingly white with dirty patches.

              Sea salt is naturally white–except rock salt, such as the Himalayan and similar tectonic-movement pressed and radiated sea salt that has metal colors and rust go through them.

              The bleaching process is used to remove all parasitic life and also dust and dirt. Personally, I prefer purified (bleached) salt to un-purified sea salt–often gray or mud colored–and would never go near Himalayan salt. Someone gave me a small container of gray fresh sea salt–still moist. I could not get myself to put it on anything… just didn’t appeal to me as something to eat.

              My personal take on salt is this: it is a mineral that our body needs and the moment we consumed it, it breaks into ions Na+ and Cl-. These ions work quite independently from each other, and our body uses them as Na+ and Cl- all the time in these forms. Any trace elements on salt are removed immediately as we eat salt. Since they are trace minerals, they are meaningless in terms of being useful as minerals.

              Also important to mention that while many clever salt sales reps promote these trace minerals as helping the salt absorb, in reality that is far from the truth, because salt breaks up into its ionic form immediately. So whatever trace elements were on it, don’t participate in how salt is absorbed or used by our body at all. They can absorb on their own, and in the case of heavy metals or radioactive elements can cause significant damage.

              The salt I eat: the most common iodized table salt.


  3. Hello Angela,

    My doctor recommended Vioxx and he said it was FDA approved, then I got an email saying after 600,000 people died it was taken off the market, i often thouught about that and I realized that every drug that was taken off the market was once approved by the FDA.

    Since I suffer from insomnia I watch TV all night and all I see are commercials about pharmaceutical products that come with very, very long lists of side effects including death, and scary diseases. Can you tell me how many people who consume pink himalayan salt have died? Does the FDA have a number? One thing I read from 2011 really scared the socks off my feet.. I realized that the CDC pushes 69 doses of vaccineson kids by 18 yrs of age, and all of them laden with Aluminum, formaldehyde, mercury, aborted fetus cells and a few other pollutants, and if death of injury occur, the physician and manufacturer are legally shielded from civil liabilities. Could you please explain your scientific and personal opinion about this severe conflict of interest? And also which would you continue to use, now that the facts are on the table, the pink salt or the vaccines? Thank you for enlighting us with your PHD powers.

    • Dear Stefan,

      Thank you for your comment. Your questions are very important. Thank you for asking them.

      First, I wish you fast and full healing from Vioxx if you got hurt.

      Secondly I need to address you question about the FDA: why the FDA approves drugs it later recalls and why it recalls them. There are some facts that are coming to the surface that were, for a very long time, not discovered: clinical drug trials do not report negative findings. The FDA receives only positive (or good) results and only minor adverse effects that are harmless upon initial release. There are several reasons for this so let me list as many as I know of—there may be more.

      1) The FDA has no vested interest in approving a drug (yes, corruption at an individual level exists everywhere but the FDA as a “whole” has no interest in approving a drug). Thus the FDA has no interest in harming the public. If anything, the reason why it wants to have control over approval is to prevent harm to the public but it is being misled.

      2) Pharmaceuticals invest billions of dollars in developing new drugs so it is in their interest to get an FDA approval. For this reason, they select special candidates (without interfering medical conditions and without taking other medicines) to get results purely on the medicine in question. There is nothing wrong with this approach only it is not realistic since unless someone is sick, there is no reason for taking the medicines to start with. So their initial tests on animals and then on healthy individuals are misleading and their findings tell us very little.

      3) Pharmaceuticals then go on to the second phase of their trial in which they test the product, for a short time period, on people who actually have the condition to use the medicine. Often times a large population who initially start this phase drop out. These dropouts are ignored—they are listed as “discontinued” but not why—and are not reported. If there is a study with say 100 individuals and 99 drop out, the study will be halted—this has just happened recently with a drug under testing (Zydelig (idelalisib) for cancer testing). However, if only 20 drop out from 100, they may not stop the trial. There is a magic number at which point the trial becomes unethical and is stopped.

      To you and to me unethical starts at 1 person dropping out for adverse effects but in reality that is not the case. There is a calculator used for this magic number called number needed to treat (NNT) which calculates how many people need to be treated with a drug in order for 1 to be cured. This is a scary number. For example, the NNT provides the following information for statin medications (cholesterol lowering drugs):

      Benefits in NNT
      None were helped (life saved)
      1 in 104 were helped (preventing heart attack)
      1 in 154 were helped (preventing stroke)

      Harms in NNH
      1 in 100 were harmed (develop diabetes)
      1 in 10 were harmed (muscle damage)

      Note: no people’s lives were saved by taking statins. Far more people take statins than is safe, in order to help a few in some way even though they do not save any lives. These are the methods the pharmaceutical companies use to evaluate a drug and its benefits.

      Thus, to say that, for example, taking statins helps you to avoid a heart attack, 104 got a heart attack while taking statins; to prevent you from having a stroke, 154 got a stroke while taking statins; Also 1 person got diabetes for 100 people taking statins and 10 out of 100 experienced muscle damage. However, the drug may have helped you though it did not save your life.

      4) Not only is it not to the pharmaceutical company’s interest to report the negative findings, it is not possible to publish negative findings in nearly academic journals! Academic journals prefer to only publish positive results and so even if the negative findings are useful, they will not be allowed to publish.

      5) The FDA tries to catch and prevent drug trials that are not reporting their findings accurately but it is up against a huge wave of counter currents with interests to not report. There are many findings that get swept under the rug to hide the truth.

      6) The role of the FDA is to prevent diseases in order to prevent mass epidemics and breakouts to the public. It has a MedWatch program for adverse effects reporting by patients specifically to learn what the pharmaceuticals hid from the FDA and to learn how real people with various health conditions and other medicines find when they take a medicine. It is the responsibility of the individual to report adverse reactions of any drug but from what I see, very few people actually do.

      To give you an example, I filed a citizen’s petition with the FDA nearly two years ago against Cipro, which is one of the medicines in the quinolones family of drugs causing severe injuries to tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of people. I have been asking every single person who had been hurt by these drugs to comment (just a simple comment) on my petition to increase the likelihood of the drug being pulled. To date there are 16 comments! You find the link here to take you to that petition to see how many comments are made—and are encouraged to make your comment as well here. You will see that 16 comments are not visible, only one. I presume the 16 not readable are from attorneys trying to protect Cipro!

      As you see, it is very easy to blame an agency that oversees medicine regulation. It is much harder to accept that they are not the ones we need to have our gripe about.

      Your last comment refers to us not learning how many people died from the pink salt. We have no idea since we also don’t learn how many die from eating farmed fish with colors added that feed on their own excrements. We only learn of specific cause of death by pathogens. The WHO estimates that there are 143,000 deaths per year from lead poisoning alone around the world. They do not report where the lead came from and that is quite impossible to find out, since as discussed, many things contain lead.

      You called this salt “pink salt” and I thank you for that. You are the first person commenting on this article who has realized that the name of the pink salt is a lie.

      My question is: we have a product whose name is a lie; a product that claims all kinds of mineral benefits but does not label the product containing them; a product that, if contains any minerals, we know will break up in our bodies. None of the “minerals” will participate anywhere salt does because we know that salt works in ionic form in the body, forming an important part of our electrolyte, creating voltage and holding onto water. So given all these facts, why do we care to eat the pink salt instead of any other salt? What keeps people so attracted to a salt that starts by lying where it comes from as its introduction?

      My personal take is this: it is everyone’s personal choice to eat or don’t eat the pink salt from Pakistan. It will not hurt anyone other than the person who eats it. However, when it comes to vaccination, people who are not vaccinated may get hurt! As long as I am vaccinated, I don’t care—the problem is self-limiting because only those not vaccinated get hurt. Can I get hurt by a vaccine? Sure but as the NNT showed, some must so I am taking my chance but also taking the chance if I don’t get vaccinated.

      Can I get hurt from eating a pistachio nut? Sure, particularly if you read the dozens of recalls on that in the past few weeks. We can get hurt from many things and many of those are out of our control. We can also prevent many things and to some degree that is within our control.

      Hope I answered all your questions.

      This is the last comment I will respond to that is not directly related only to the salt article.


  4. Interesting, but I want to make 2 main points. As many have commented, while I agree that it is best to minimize our exposure to lead, it is impossible to totally avoid it as the soil of our entire planet has been contaminated by lead due to industrial pollution and the burning of coal, so EVERY SINGLE FOOD has traces of lead. In fact, there is good evidence that the average person alive today has 500-1000 times more lead in our bodies than people who lived in the pre-industrial era. The amount of lead contributed from “Himalayan salt” is trivial compared to the amounts in many other foods. Every food has some things that are good for us and some things that are bad for us and “Himalayan salt” has many beneficial trace minerals as well as low amounts of toxic metals. I think it is far healthier than standard table salt, which, while lower in lead, has other toxins, like ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate, which may be more problematic than lead (see http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/05/end-war-on-salt.aspx), though I prefer personally to use sea salt.
    More importantly, your statement that “There is absolutely nothing we can do to remove lead from the body with our current medical acumen.” is simply 100% wrong. As others have pointed out, chelation therapy is well-proven to effectively lower lead levels and is an accepted part of conventional Western medicine, not just alternative medicine.
    And just because OTC chelation products have not been approved by the FDA does not mean that they are not safe or effective. As a Family Physician and MD who specializes in detoxification I use both conventional pharmaceuticals like EDTA and natural therapies like zeolites and chlorella to lower body burdens of heavy metals. The tests that I do to measure heavy metals in my patients confirm that the OTC products are often very effective, dramatically lowering body burdens of lead and other metals like mercury and cadmium.

    • Dear Randy,

      I partially agree with you in some of what you are saying; like most foods have lead and other heavy metals. However, while I must eat, I can certainly choose what to eat and what to avoid.

      Dr. Mercola and I had an email exchange on Himalayan (or Pakistani salt from now on please since there is no such as Himalayan salt for sale). He states the same thing as you with an even stronger wording on the minerals. He suggested that the

      crystals of the [Pakistani] salt retain the heavy metals in a safe place encapsulated and not released in the body.

      I assume you are aware that nothing in crystal or any shape or form remains in that form in the body; all of these so called minerals are released as molecules and ions. I was shocked by what Dr. Mercola said given that only a simple 101 introductory college (or perhaps even high school) level biology study is enough to understand that nothing in the body stays in the same form as it enters. All elements break down into their molecular forms and many are ions with either negative or positive charge. An ion will bond to anything that is also an ion with an imbalance of charge. Thus, while Dr. Mercola does not write his articles in person and, perhaps, also not his emails, he may not have considered or noticed the implications of what was sent to me as his response.

      The posts I make will never go against any FDA regulations no matter how much those regulations may appear to not make sense. The FDA is the governing agency of what we can or cannot do as professionals. What the individual may choose to eat in her kitchen is another story and does not belong to the discussion here. The FDA clearly states, as I quoted in a comment below, that chelation with OTC products is strictly against FDA regulations.

      Furthermore, as you should be well aware, if mineral benefits are claimed by any product that we eat or take as supplement in any shape or form, the list of those minerals needs to be printed on the label for all to see in a very particular manner dictated by the government organization. Thus, the salt from Pakistan is actually violating FDA regulations as well. You are strengthening the FDA’s argument against the Pakistani salt by stating that the claims made by the salt about the minerals in them, is true.

      Thanks for your comment,

  5. The FDA warning only warns against so-called “chelation” products that are marketed over-the-counter (OTC) to prevent or treat diseases such as lead poisoning. This excludes prescription chelators.

    However even with prescription chelators many people become sicker. The first issue is that many of us are burdened with a continuing source of metal toxicity and must first seek out a listing of such sources and be sure to rid those from our body before beginning chelation. The second issue is that the kinetics of these prescription substances are not being respected. Typically, the level of chelator in your system lowers to well below 50% of the initial dose in a matter of hours. As the amount of chelator in the body lowers significantly, mobilized lead can redistribute back into tissue and cause additional damage. This means that multiple doses per day, on a schedule at least as often as the half life of the substance, are necessary to maintain a more consistent level of chelator. Additionally, the transport of metals, even with proper chelation, is taxing. So periods of three days on and three days off would be a good starting point to ensure that your body is allowed enough recovery time. This is referred to as ‘frequent low dose chelation.’

    • So then Jason let me ask this: with all these necessary steps to remove heavy metals from your body as a result of eating Pakistani salt (let’s call it by its real name, since it has nothing to do with the Himalayas), assuming full chelation is actually possible from places like the bones, then why not just simply not eat this salt that contains lead and mercury and other heavy metals? Granted there are many food items we cannot have alternatives for that contain heavy metals but if we can avoid them then why not just avoid them?

      I find it fascinating how many people come to the defense of a salt that is completely sold under fake premises and labeled illegally without any health benefits information on the packages.

      It is from Pakistan and not the Himalayas so that is lie #1.

      The second problem, which is a bigger one, is that the FDA requires from all food, supplement, herb, etc., labels to list ingredients that the product claims that it provides any health benefit (and harm as well). The Pakistani salt claims to have 84 health beneficial minerals. According to the FDA these are supposed to be listed on the package, every package everywhere sold within the USA. The salt from Pakistan claims all kinds of health benefits on its website, here in another article as well, but it does not list any of those on the label of the product. This is in full FDA violation and I would not be surprised if the FDA would slam down on them for violating laws.

      According the the FDA all claims made by a product must be listed, must be FDA approved if health benefits are claimed–this is a lengthy and expensive process. Not one of the Pakistani salt dealers have any such claims filed with the FDA.

      So let’s start talking about the legality of selling Pakistani salt with the name Himalayan salt and claiming health benefits! I hope the FDA reads this!

      • I have no disagreement with you. I am currently treating heavy metal poisoning. And, though I will never know for sure, I believe it is something that has effected me my entire life. I only commented because I was concerned that, between the FDA warning and the debate occurring in the comments, people may get the wrong idea about chelation. I appreciate your bringing this lead issue to our attention.

        • I am sorry to hear that you are battling with heavy metal poisoning. I hope there is a chance for your fast recovery Jason. I enjoy a good debate–as long as it is professional and constructive and not personal–and your comment was professional. Best wishes,


          • Hello.I am addicted to pink himalayan salt.I eat it by the teaspoon full.course type and i pop it in my moith all day every day.I must have it and hate regular salt completely.I do not go any where with out it.I womt want to eat any thing with out it.I pit it in my coffee on everything except fresh fruit.I crave it always.Its been about 3 years for sure that i eat pink salt crystals daily and often wonder if it’s damaging me and my health in any way I eat a lot probably 1 tablespoon course ground a day day or more.

            • It is highly likely that it harms you Theresa but the harm may not become noticeable until years later. It is the collective sum in your bones that may reach a threshold of tolerance one day–your own threshold. I personally would recommend that you switch to a different salt.


      • The term “Himalayan” salt is actually a reference to the mountain range that covers India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and China.

  6. Angela, do you have your PhD in art history or what?

    The toxicity of these things is dependent on the daily lead intake from that source. Since a lot of water is consumed (e. g. 1.5 liters on average for an adult) it has to be low in lead. 5 ppb at 1.5 liters gives 7.5 mcg per day of intake from that source.

    People consume a lot less salt than water. Someone consuming 4.5 grams of salt a day – 1 tsp which is an awful lot of salt – is getting 0.45 mcg per day of lead from the salt. This is well below the toxic threshhold, and almost 17 times lower than the amount they’re permitted to be getting from their water.

    Some very simple calculations that anyone who actually remembers their high school chemistry can do are necessary to understand what a safe or unsafe level of contamination is in any given product. Just emoting and gyrating wildly like a frightened child isn’t helping anyone. It doesn’t take a PhD to get upset. Someone with a PhD ought to be responsible and do relevant calculations so they can offer an informed opinion. Even if the PhD is in art history.

    • Andy can you read? My degrees are written in my bio. One is in math actually and I know it real well.

      Can you tell me what “100 ppb” actually means? hint: it means 100 molecules in 1 billion molecules. Alright?

      How many ppb lead is in 8 glasses of water? What about ppb in a teaspoon of salt? And does any of that really matter?

      If you gave me 100 molecules of lead in 1 billion molecules of anything, I would not eat it or drink it. Clear? It does not matter how many times the 100 ppb repeats given the number of billions of molecules in water or air or butter you hand me: I would not eat it. 100 of the molecules in each billion molecules of Himalayan salt (Pakistani salt actually) are lead. That is the point.

      Perhaps my mathematics is not that bad after all.. Pull your calculator out if you need it. Also, can you explain why we call a salt from Pakistan Himalayan salt? last I looked Pakistan was not Himalayas. Perhaps it sells more? It is really easy to fool and hurt people. That is the point.


      • you appear bothered by the name and marketing more then by being basically censured to speak your true mind by the FDA. A former hear of that vaunted agency said that what the FDA does and what the people think it does, is different as night and day. the Billions of dollars spend by pharma companies is not just on making drugs. its in lobbying government agencies, directly or indirectly, to view their products favorably. If the OTC chelation drugs were as expensive as the Rx drugs, I think they too would be approved. I thank you for your insight and information on the pink salt. it has caused me to rethink my stance. I personally don’t trust anything that the FDA says, and I need to see it in writing where universities don’t publish unfavorably results of research.

        • Jeff,

          I no longer respond to non-article related issues, but one point you made is important: the non-publishing of negative result. Read the response below with link to unpublished negative findings which I also link you to here. Additional links here or here or here or here. There are hundreds of articles and it is all over newspapers, magazines of scientific value, TV, and everywhere you look–I am not going to link you to all; you can find them though you may not be able to read all of them without academic access but you can read the abstract.

          The rest of what you write is outside of the scope of discussion.


  7. Curious to know how the test was performed to get these results? I hired an independent lab and they said a spectral analysis on salt to get a PPB is impossible. When you add salt to water you separate the sodium and chloride, creating a brine solution. The presence of chloride would masks the ability to detect minerals and the brine would destroy the tips of labatory detection tools. We can do a sprocket analysis that says the minerals present but doing an analysis to find PPB is impossible was their response. So curious how the test you cited did it as I would like to forward to the lab.

    • That is a great question VM that you should ask from James who actually said his company did the test in his rebuttal to this article. I am asking him the same question though not for the reasons you ask. His rebuttal is found here:http://www.hormonesmatter.com/himalayan-salt-lead-rebuttal/ and my comment is at the bottom.

      However, just to be clear in terms of your question: not every measurement of chemical contents need to be dissolved in water. After all when was the last time we dissolved a piece of sun in water to know what it is made of. How do we know what elements other planets and suns are made of billions of light years away. Think for a moment and note that there is what is called spectral analysis, in which the chemical signature is derived by the means of elemental signatures on a spectral scale. Google spectral analysis and you will find many explanations.

      However your question is misplaced. This question should be asked by you from the company that does the spectral analysis since just as getting the spectral analysis of the sun will give a general idea, if I were to get a teaspoon of sun on top of my steak, the contents of that spoonful will be different to some degree from the contents of the entire sun.

      And here is where my problem is with the analysis of salt. Spectral analysis is great to tell you the signature of sodium content, for example, in general, but not the actual sodium content of the salt in my teaspoon. Thus there are problems with measuring chemical “mineral” content of the salt, not to mention that as I explain on my rebuttal comment, there is no such as Himalayan salt.

      It is salt from Pakistan promoted as Himalayan so not much that you are told by the information available is actually true. However, independent analysis by some state agencies in other countries have analyzed many samples of this pink fossilized salty rock and found only 8 elements worthy to mention and those were heavy metals like lead and mercury. Please read my comment at the link and follow the links in that to get to read the truth.


      • Ironically, you list a phone # at the bottom for poison control. Hopefully others actually do their research and find this information you put up here is not true. Poison Control has this article now. Although they won’t reach out to you, they find it funny you would put your name on something that isn’t true AND list their number for reference. At least you did one thing right. Most information on the internet isn’t true…as you should be well aware of. These are not FACTS from the news. You need to take this article down.

        • Patty the phone number and information is copy-pasted form the CDC website. If that is wrong, that is not my issue but theirs.

          There is no research in this article. Since this I already stated several times, let me repeat in bold:


          If something I copy pasted from the CDC or from CNN that is not true, feel free to contact them and complain. This article is a very valuable report of facts and not research.
          It seems many people have a real hard time facing facts. These are facts.

          After that you may choose to ignore it if you wish. That is your choice. But for the sake of those who want facts and the truth, they find it here.


      • Cannot believe the reaction to one article. I just want to thank you for giving me an alternate treatment for my MAV.Thank you also for putting up articles that pertain to our problems. I’m just new and trying to figure this all out. What was the salt that you reccomend. I can’t find the answer with all the complaining and bashing on this page!

        • I agree Cindy. I suppose people don’t want to let go of their favorite things even if those may hurt them. There is plenty of evidence for that in research so I am not surprised and enjoy seeing how it really works. 🙂

          Thanks for asking what I recommend. I do not actually recommend any one particular salt since it is a taste question; there are many salts that (to my knowledge) do not contain any harmful elements, such as kosher salt or purified table salt and alike. However, I recommend your make sure your salt is, in fact, white. If it has color, it is not natural since pure salt is transparent like glass but because of the crystal edges in small size it appears white. I have seen very large salt crystals–over half inch in length. Pure salt like that is crystal clear like glass. Any salt that is clear like glass or appears white, if smaller crystals, is fine.

          I also recommend iodized salt if you have no diseases that make you sensitive to iodine, such as Hashimoto’s or Grave’s disease. If you only find purified salt without iodine, make sure you supplement with iodine for proper thyroid function. There are many iodine supplements but so far whatever I have seen were always too large.

          Iodine need is age dependent:

          Birth to 6 months 110 mcg

          Infants 7–12 months 130 mcg

          Children 1–8 years 90 mcg

          Children 9–13 years 120 mcg

          Teens 14–18 years 150 mcg

          Adults 150 mcg

          Pregnant teens and women 220 mcg

          Breastfeeding teens and women 290 mcg

          I use iodine supplement that is too large so I just break it in half.

          Hope this is helpful,

  8. You should not be comparing lead concentrations in water with lead concentrations in Himalayan salt! See explanation below:

    Recommended daily intakes:
    Water 1.5 to 2.0 L or Kg (average of 1.75 Kg)
    Salt 0.0023 to 0.00575 Kg (average of 0.004025 Kg)

    The maximum acceptable value of lead in drinking water is 10 ppb according to the World Health Organisation, but we will take the limit you suggested of 5 ppb.

    Amount of lead consumed in water each day:
    5/1,000,000,000 x 1.75 Kg = 8.75 x 10^-9 Kg = 0.00875 mg

    Given there are 100 ppb of lead in Himalayan salt, the amount of lead consumed in salt each day (if 100% of salt consumed is Himalayan salt):
    100/1,000,000,000 x 0.00575 Kg = 5.75 x 10^-10 Kg = 0.000575 mg

    Therefore one would consume 15.22 times more lead in the water they drink each day than in the salt (assuming all consumed is Himalayan) they consume. Double this figure to 30.44 times more lead in the water they drink each day if you pay attention to the maximum acceptable value of lead in drinking water which is 10 ppb rather than your figure of 5 ppb.

    I think it is wrong to try and say that Himalayan salt is dangerous to human health when 15-30 times more lead is consumed in drinking water at a level considered safe and acceptable. Refined table salt contains additives such as talc (a known carcinogen) and aluminium (a neurotoxin) to make it more free-flowing so I believe you cannot say Himalayan salt is dangerous to human health and that refined table salt is not. Please check my calculations before commenting.

    • Not sure why you are suggesting Jordyn that I compare lead in water with that of lead in salt. I compared 5ppb wherever commented by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN program that he said was already unsafe to the 100ppb in whatever that is the amount found in Himalayan salt.

      1) I repeated what Dr. Gupta said so the statement of what is safe or not is not mine.

      2) The WHO may say what it says but in the US the CDC rules.

      3) According to the CDC zero amount of lead is the tolerable amount.

      4) It doesn’t matter how you look at it:
      100 > 0 and 100 > 5. End of story.


      • I was very conservative in my calculation taking the upper limit of salt in the recommended daily intake and the lower concentration of lead at 5 ppb. Lead is a naturally occurring element which cannot be avoided. If no amount of lead is safe then you should probably stop eating all fruits, nuts and vegetables. In fact the vast majority of lead is consumed in food! Studies report daily average lead intakes from FOOD in the range of 0.1 mg – 0.5 mg and from WATER in the range of 0.001 mg – 0.06 mg. Compare this to the teeniest tiniest amount consumed daily in Himalayan salt which would be 0.000575 mg at most!!!! It is interesting that in NZ (where I’m from) Cadmium (another toxic heavy metal) is becoming a real issue in agricultural soils due to the long term use of industrial phosphate fertilisers. Anyone who eats potato, wheat and spinach for example is likely consuming more cadmium that what is considered safe. The best way to Limit our intake of lead and other heavy metals is to avoid unnaturally grown food, deep sea fish sourced from contaminated oceans, water from contaminated ground sources etc. Don’t worry about eating NATURAL Himalayan salt! Worry about how your food is grown and do something about that! Food is always best grown and consumed the way God designed it; organically, unrefined, unadulterated. End of story.

        • Oh and 1) Dr Gupata was referring to the lead levels of concern in DRINKING WATER, NOT SALT. We consume a hell of a lot more water than salt. What do you not understand about me telling you that you cannot compare the two? And 2&3&4) the CDC may have their own requirements separate from the WHO, but you cannot avoid lead all together when it is a naturally occurring element. It is impossible. Hence why WHO has set maximium allowable levels in drinking water to protect human health.

            • Angela

              You are missing the point. If you are telling people to stop consuming Himalayan salt because it contains lead then you should also tell people to stop consuming fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts as they also contain lead but in much higher doses than one would ever consume from Himalayan salt, hence your article is very misleading. However I’m pretty sure that fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts are important for a healthy diet. Please by all means comment again if you disagree with this.

            • Well then, what are you eating? If you eat fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish, poultry, meat, beans, pulses, root vegetables, wine, bread, cereals, herbs, spices etc., you are getting more lead than you get from any salt. I think that this is much ado about nothing. Maybe the CDC and FDA don’t like all the health benefits that people get from natural salt and salt lamps. No, no, no, that can’t be it…

              • Hi Linda,

                The point is that there are no health benefits from the “minerals” in the Himalayan salt because radioactive stuff, lead, mercury, arsenic, etc., are not nutrition. Furthermore, in the body salt immediately breaks up into sodium and chloride. All the other stuff just washes out of your system as they are coupled with toxic things that are harmful–except those things that cannot wash out: lead, mercury, and the radioactive stuff. They stay with you for life–part of lead does wash out but not all. You will not know that until years from now.

                If you want to eat salt, you only need NaCl and nothing else–that is salt. If you want to take magnesium–have some in fresh green veggies or take magnesium supplement that is without mercury, lead and radioactive material. Why are those important in your salt? They are not. It is just an “image” like a fancy brand name plastic purse is better than the same thing without the brand name though it is made by the same company in the same place. People are into brands and believe in them. However, not everything is gold that shines.

                There is lead in nearly everything that we must eat for our survival. However, if there is a choice, chose wisely.

                There is absolutely nothing special about the pink stuff, except for its pretty colors, which represent the very metals you don’t want in your salt. Besides, why is fossilized salt any better than freshly gathered salt? Not sure if you realize you are eating fossilized salt there that has still ancient fish poop, dead organic materials, and bacterial cells stuck on it that became the so called “minerals.” The problem is the same with so called “sea salt” (noting that all salt is from the sea so to call salt “sea salt” encourages ignorance and fuels stigma.

                There are salt mines all over the world; they all provide you the exact same “salty air” benefit you get when you go to the beach–there are several in the US too. There are salt saloons like massage saloons popping up all over to help you breathe in salt the right way without radiation. Humid salty air is healthy for you to inhale! However, you need not also inhale mercury with that. It is not just about lead but also mercury and many other dangerous materials in that salt.

                If you enjoy Himalayan salt, have it by all means–no one is stopping you from it, but for those of us caring about the healthfulness of what we eat, we need to know what is in what we eat. In the article above you simply have a chance to learn–then you do whatever you wish.


    • Thank you so much for this comment! My first two thoughts when reading this article were in regards the numbers — we consume so much more water than salt — and the possible safety of the naturally occurring elements in their natural state (ie combined with the other minerals). I appreciate you doing the math on this one — confirmed my initial thoughts.

      • Yes Maria; you are totally right. We obviously have more than Himalayan salt as a concern. We may not be able to avoid lead and other toxic elements in all of what we eat or drink or breathe in but in those cases when we can, we should eliminate as much toxic from our lives as possible. There are other salt types with no lead… Here we have a choice.


    • Jordyn you are right on so many levels. The CDC actually has levels for salt and other foods if you research it and it is over 100 ppb.

    • Thank you for making this clarification. Comparing lead levels of water and salt are like comparing cats and dogs. They are 2 different things.

  9. We need 80-160 ounces of water per day. And only a few sprinkles of salt. Use some common sense and moderation.

    Remember when we used to die of old age? it’s caused by YEARS. Don’t let years get to you, either.

    • Tzinorah, I do have my opinion on Celtic: sea water is not pure and Celtic salt takes pride in having a little bit of sea water encapsulated in each salt crystals. This may give a chance to some opportunistic organism to survive or at least leave a spore or seed to mature into a parasite in the human body’s sea-water like internal environment–assuming it survives the stomach’s acid. That probably reduces the risks tremendously but not always as many recent food poisonings have demonstrated.

      I have an additional problem with unpurified salts in general: being unpure means whatever was on it when it was harvested (debris, organic matter from past generations, fish excrement, etc.,) are still on it in some form. My personal take on anything unpure: if we feel we need to wash something that fell on the floor because it may have gotten a tad of dirt on it, perhaps we should also wash our salt?

      This is purely my opinion and not specific to any research.

      In terms of research, information on what these salts contain is probably harder to come close to than the secret formula of the famous soft drink. As a consumer, I found several completely different analyses on the internet. Here are only two: sample one and sample two and you will see that they are not even close to what they find. So how would I know what is in Celtic salt? Lead is not listed but if you look at a Himalayan salt site it will say it has less lead in it than Celtic salt–and we know that Himalayan already has too much for comfort. The two links on Celtic salt do not even mention lead. So how would I know?

      Another interesting fact by these two analyses is that Celtic salt contains fluoride, which is enemy #1 as some people refer to it when it comes to purified salt. Yet it is in Celtic salt. Only because few people know it, it matters none.

      But it matters to me that we know so little! In the US, every product we eat must by law have full ingredient disclosure. I see the disclosure on the labels of purified salts but not on these “designer” salts. Not only is this illegal but it immediately puts two questions in my mind: what are they hiding? And: how come they get away with not having the ingredients listed on the back of the package?

      I hope I answered your question and then some!


      • One of our biggest problems, actually, is the incessant need to wash, purify, sterilize, etc. EVERYTHING! Did you know that the anti-bacterial soaps that we use on our hands, dishes, bodies, etc. kills the GOOD bacteria, as well as the bad? Do you know what that is doing to the septic systems many people still use? If you continue to “purify” everything, you will end up having to remain in a little glass bubble, because you will have zero resistance to anything. Now, if that is how you choose to live your life, I have no problem with that; that is purely your choice!

        When my kids were little, I used to tell them to “go out and play in the dirt!” and I absolutely meant just that. No, they did not get sick. In fact, they were sick a fraction of the time compared to their classmates!

        In order for our immune system to function properly, we NEED to be exposed to things in small doses. (Polio & chicken pox vaccines, for instance.) Personally, I do not believe that the CDC is seriously advocating zero of anything. That is simply impossible without living in a bubble! Since I did not hear it straight from the source, I will look into that further.

        Salt is meant to be used by the body as a carrier of sorts, not sustenance, as is water. Salt is a necessity for certain bodily functions. It helps the body utilize what we need, and remove what we don’t. Salt actually does come in many different colors, depending on what minerals it is carrying. Personally, I like the taste of the Himalayan salt and I don’t believe for a second that something that comes from the Himalayas (which cross into several different countries) is more contaminated that something that comes from the ocean, that has then been processed with chemicals! Yes, there are many dishonest people out there selling something other than what they are advertising, but there are also many that are honest! However, that is just my humble opinion. I’m going to go have a juicy steak and use my pink salt!

        UP NEXT, HONEY: TO DRIZZLE OR NOT TO DRIZZLE…. Did you know that in a 2011 study of the quality of honey, out of 60 different honeys tested, nearly 75% did not contain any pollen and 100% of the ones tested from drug stores & restaurants did not contain a single drip of pollen! Just some food for thought….

        • Adrienne, everyone knows that using antibacterial soaps are bad but people use them because commercials push them and people buy what they are told to buy and are not reading articles. Why companies are still making them is the question and not why people are still buying them. I agree with you 100% about the benefit of not being overly protective of our kids; let them be exposed to dirt–in fact we know that asthma and allergies are caused by the overly protective nature of our society.

          But when it comes to lead… no.. that is not a substance we need. And when it comes to salt, no. You are totally wrong again.

          Perhaps a little reading up indeed will benefit you. Every single cell has several sodium pumps that are just for the function of letting sodium in or out. Some of these pumps bring in sodium for cell functions and others to dull pain–when a sneak bites you, its venom plugs that particular receptor instantly and so you feel less pain (or none) while you are dying… Salt breaks up in the body into sodium and chloride ions without which no cell has voltage and no cell can keep water inside, no cell can let magnesium or glucose into cells either and the calcium cannot enter cells. Without salt you die. It is not a carrier of sort as you put it but in fact it is one of the 2 most essential elements in our body: water and salt. We can even survive without sugar (ketones). I think a bit of metabolic cellular respiration study would speak volumes to your understanding rather than state things that mislead and are incorrect.

          When it comes to chemicals in the body, opinions are meaningless since these are already visible under scanners, in Petri dish, have been defined very well for at least 10 years if not more in medicinal and biological educations. Some things are simply not up for opinions abut are, in fact, facts. 2+2 = 4 is not up for your humble or otherwise opinion but of course you can always come up with a theory that it is not equal to 4 and then prove it.

          Not sure where honey comes into the conversation here since no one was talking about it but while we are at it: did YOU know that honey is 1.5 times as sweet and is concentrated (by the bees) to be high fructose? It is worse for you than sugar. As for why it would contain any pollen: the entire thing is made of pollen… correct? So where did all the pollen go in the golden liquid (which is the color of the pollen by the way?)? It is mixed into the saliva of the bee that alters its chemical nature to be liquid but yes, it is made of pollen. This does not mean you will get an allergic reaction to it if you are sensitive to pollen since the sensitivity comes from individual dry pollen that irritate our mucus membranes and we don’t typically inhale honey and even if we do, it is liquid and the actual individual pollen elements are all modified into a gooey sweet fructose enhanced toxic stuff.

          Enjoy your weekend,

  10. Hmm firstly you can’t compare lead concentrations in water with those in salt because you consume a heck of a lot more water than salt! Secondly Himalayan salt contains selenium which chelates any toxic heavy metals so this is not an issue. Natural salts provide more than just sodium chloride as they contain over 84 trace elements including iodine! In fact iodised table salt contains 32-64 mg/ kg of iodine whereas Himalayan salt contains 10,000 mg/ kg of iodine!!! Refined table salts are stripped of trace minerals during processing (hence iodine needs to be re-added to prevent goitre) consequently leading to blood pressure fluctuations and is what has lead to the promotion of ‘low sodium’ foods. The vast array of minerals in natural salts actually aid in blood pressure regulation! In addition refined table salt contains added talc (a known carcinogen) and aluminium (a known neurotoxin) to make it more free-flowing. Stick to your Himalayan salt 😀 X

    • Hmm let me respond Jordyn–though this kind of comment has already been posted and responded to.

      Naturopaths suggest that lead can be removed but modern medicine does not recognize that. So as a non-scientist it is easy to believe everything at every level–hence the trouble and ease with which bad things are purchased by the unaware and why I wrote this article.

      Your education is in agriculture so your protection of Himalayan salt is understood even if the information you gave is false.

      In the body salt breaks down to ions of Na+ (sodium) and Cl- (chloride) and all the rest of those “wonderful” minerals go through digestion via acid and spit out on the other end except for the heavy metals and radiation. Our electrolyte does not need lead, mercury, gold, arsenic, plutonium, uranium, etc., it needs sodium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and a few other things like water and phosphate. Show me an electrolyte with trace minerals.

      At the same time, one bite of steak with some veggies will give you all of the natural minerals you actually need in quantifiable amounts without all the bad stuff. We get the minerals we need if we eat right. However, we don’t need to get them in our salt and especially not in trace elements format that comes with various heavy metals attached. Purified table salt is indeed striped off all such minerals. And I am grateful for that. If I want to eat lead, I will do so based on my informed knowledge.

      In terms of iodine, yes, all salt types need added iodine–even iodized salt can use a little help since some of it evaporates. No difference there.

      So basically the only difference between purified “stripped” salt and the one full of dangerous heavy metals is the dangerous heavy metals. No thank you. Not for the public. If you wish to eat it, please do by all means. But people need to make educated choices. Here now is the truth so they can make an educated choice. If they wish to eat lead, be my guest.


      • And yet you fail to mention the aluminum in table salt. You can’t worry about lead and not be concerned with aluminum.

      • Angela, did you fail to notice that Jordan IS a scientist, before you started talking down? Seriously, though, when I read your comments regarding peer-review, I laughed so hard I almost puked! A little full of ourselves, are we? You come across as one of those “hardcore 12-step reformed alcoholics that insist everyone should do it their way, because that is the only way to be; everyone else is just wrong!” type. Not saying that you are, just that you come across that way.

        You say, “usually 3 reviewers are used and usually only I understand the misuse of math and statistics….” This can be taken in oh so many ways, none nice, however, that I can think of, so I will leave that be except to say: When everyone is going the wrong way and you feel like a Salmon, chances are you are NOT a Salmon and it’s you that is going the wrong way. Remember that Science has been know to be wrong, on more than one occasion. When you refuse to budge or even consider what the other side is saying, you have doomed yourself to remain in the past while the rest of the world moves ahead; adjusting, correcting, learning, changing as the tides command….. Oh, and that steak you mentioned in an earlier post, it’s probably loaded with all sorts of nasty things, even if it’s “organic” beef. Cows roam, they graze, often times this is done alongside the highway. How do you suppose they keep the toxins in automobile exhaust from entering the grass, soil, & cows lungs? They can’t. I suggest coming down off your holier-than-thou pedestal-of-purity before you hurt yourself.

        • Adrienne did you notice that I too am a scientist? And I do indeed reject articles while I peer review them. There are always 3 reviewers. You may not be a scientist to know but I do. Science has been wrong many times, particularly when it was not science only people called it that way.

          Glad my comment made you laugh…

          I do not find it funny when “medicinal treatments” kill people, such as when chiropractic “science” causes strokes or acupuncture “science” causes HIV or Hep C or when homeopathic “science” causes liver failure.

          There is a definition of science: it has to be reproducible and factual. Lead will always hurt you: fact and scientific.

          FYI: Organic food does not mean it is bacteria free: it means the animal was not treated with hormones or antibiotics. I think you need a bit of fact finding before you make comments.


      • Angela, re this statement: “Naturopaths suggest that lead can be removed but modern medicine does not recognize that.”

        This is not true according to your CDC. Below is a quote and link from the CDC page that redefines lead levels in children:

        “The new recommendation does not change the guidance that chelation therapy be considered when a child has a blood lead test result greater than or equal to 45 micrograms per deciliter.
        •Children can be given a blood test to measure the level of lead in their blood. These tests are covered by Medicaid and most private health insurance.”

        Sounds to me like “guidance that chelation therapy be considered…” means that they DO have a method of removing lead.

        • Cheryl,

          Thanks for your comment. I think the sentence is easy to misunderstand–it is the treatment by naturopaths that is not recognized by modern medicine.

          It is not that modern medicine doesn’t recognize that lead and mercury treatments can be done but it is not permitted to be done by anyone other than licensed MDs. This comment was made after a naturopathic group responded with a comment that “go ahead, enjoy your lead filled salt and we can help you remove that from your body” sort of message. The very next day the FDA responded to this–their response is posted as an addendum at the ends of the article.

          Naturopaths in the US are not MDs. In many states they are illegal and in other states they must remain within the field of herbalist. Under their care it is illegal (as per FDA) to even consider treatment since naturopaths have no access to prescribing medicines. I understand that there is an internal fight at the moment, since naturopaths would like to be incorporated into medicine as official MDs. Some MDs are taking naturopathic training (integrative medicine) but at the time this article was written (January 2016) it was made very clear by the FDA that only licensed MDs can attempt any kind of treatment for lead (or mercury) poisoning.

          Thus while there are possible treatments that modern medicine uses, the naturopathic treatments are not recognized by modern medicine as legitimate and are against federal regulations as per the FDA.

          I hope this clarifies the confusion.

          As an afterthought, while treatment for lead and mercury is possible, I would think that prevention as much as possible is a better idea. My 2 cents.

          Best wishes,

    • Sorry in terms of Iodine there is typically more in iodised salt 32-64 mg/kg compared with around 10 mg/kg in Himalayan salt (did the conversion incorrectly the first time…my bad). However the iodine in Himalayan salt is apparently more bio-available thus better absorbed and used by the body.

      • Modern medicine unfortunately doesn’t recognise a lot of things even if there is independent peer reviewed science to back it up. Unfortunately natural remedies etc. don’t make big pharma any money so of course they are not going to recognise and encourage these methods. I personally know someone who had a diagnosed heavy metal toxicity. They were showing symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis memory loss etc. and have over a period of a few years detoxified themselves using natural remedies including taking some form of bentonite clay, psyllium husk, making dietary changes etc. etc. which by the way worked! They no longer carry the toxicity and are free of all symptoms! As much as modern medicine is valuable, it really doesn’t have all the answers.

      • It makes little difference Jordyn how much iodine lead contains. It is not a very lovely idea to get better bio-available iodine when it comes with great bio-available lead. I think you are missing my point.

        This salt is to hazardous to human health.

        There are many things that taste great that are hazardous to health–in fact lead is one of them. It is sweet. There are many things that are natural that are hazardous.

        Modern science does not know everything. True. It never will since things change rapidly. Glad you mentioned peer review. I happen to be a peer reviewer for several journals. I reject over 80% (closer to 90%) of all articles submitted but because usually 3 reviewers are used and usually only I understand the misuse of math and statistics, the other two reviewers let junk through and the article publishes no matter what I do. Thus when it comes to peer review it already sends the wrong signal.

        Glad you did not mention evidence based… my hair remained attached to my scull. Thank you.

        As for MS and other brain disorders, there are perfectly great methods of treatment that used without any medicines. “Ketogenic diet” at various levels help different conditions. There are also conditions that masquerade as MS that are not MS. Thus yes, not everything needs medicines–and also few things need clay or psyllium husk.

        Dietary change will do–and without lead preferably.


    • Gina, not safe if you read the CDC I linked to several comments lower. It says that even inhaling lead dust is dangerous so if you ever dust your lamp or perhaps even from the small heat it puts out, you can be exposed to both lead and mercury (mercury loves to evaporate and fast!). I know many people love their Himalayan salt lamp and some claim that it helps their kids’ asthma–which salt does by the way–but I would think one without lead would be better. I know it is very pretty too. I personally would not have it near me knowing what I now know. It is totally up to you and how you feel about it; I cannot advise you. All I can say is that I would not keep it if it were me having to make that decision.

      Hope this helps,

      • You’re one of a few worth reading. I learned a lot from you.

        You also helped to strengthen my already existing ideas about prescription drugs, the poor diagnosing skills of many doctors as well as their medical knowledge, and patients slavishly following their commands.

          • And still I tell the people on my island in the sun, NOT to forget to eat salt (well …. um … …..not that H-stuff, eh?) and take a good sip of H2O next. Oh, and I tell the docs, while holding their hands to sooth the pain, that the gospel of salt reduction, low-salt, and even worse, no-salt, is a sneaky fairy tale imposed on them by members of the ESIP-Clan (evil spirited ignorant people) suffering from high BP and migraine.

  11. If you look at Himalayan salt and not think that it’s divine and look at iodized table salt as divine, I think that perception is strange.

    • Hi Frances,

      I do not recommend any. I can tell you what I eat and have been very healthy with: iodized table salt. 🙂 Make sure that whatever salt you chose has iodine or you supplement iodine unless you have Hashimoto’s disease or Grave’s disease, in which case it may be harmful. You should talk to your doctor then. Otherwise salt is per taste–your choice!


  12. I am so sorry but your math is wrong. You should not have multiplied. Here’s the correct math.

    0.10 ppm/1000 million (same a 1 billion) = 0.0001 ppb

    So while 5 parts of lead per billion is a health concern, Himalayan salt only has 0.0001 parts per billion. That is a significant amount less.

    • Jamie,

      I already answered this below. Regardless: assume there is only 1 molecule of lead in the Himalayan salt. According to the CDC (not to the CNN news I referred to in the article) the safe level of lead for children is zero (they do not discuss adults or at least I have not yet found it). Lead also builds up–I know, we have comments below from a naturopath stating it can be chelated but modern medicine does not recognize that. So the answer I must give as a modern scientist: lead is heavy metal and builds up. That is definitely larger than zero. A single molecule is larger than zero but I do understand that lead is a naturally found element and is in many things. Regardless of the amount, if you eat the stuff, it better have zero lead if you have a choice. You do. Enjoy whatever salt you choose!


      • For those questioning the math, there are online conversion tables that you can use. I happened to be a mathematician and did not need it but it seems many here may.
        Here is a table based on the online converter where I converted the 0.10 ppm in Himalayan salt to ppb ppm conversion table As you can see, when you convert to ppb the number increases. I know it is confusing but the math is correct. You can do the math yourself.

    • If 1 out of every 10 dogs is a husky… then 10 out of every 100 dogs is a husky. You multiply both the top and bottom of the fraction/ratio.

      • Correct! See the math I have several times I showed. You are totally correct Richard but most people who get the math wrong dilute. They confuse diluting with adding. They say lets mix dogs with pets in general so if 1 out of every dog is a Husky than out of 100 “pets” it is 1/100 husky. Their math is totally confused. I even included a calculator below with link Richard! Now you can really understand why I no longer teach at university. 😀


    • ahhhhhhhhhhh… no… Jamie; there is a ppm to ppb calculator I linked to below to help those less understanding of mathematics involved in this case.

      What you are showing is if I dilute the 1 ppm with something WITHOUT lead THEN the ppm in ppb becomes smaller because it is diluted by 1 billion molecules instead of 1 million molecules. That is NOT what I am showing in Himalayan salt since taking 1 million molecules of Himalayan salt or 1 billion molecules of Himalayan salt will always have 1 parts per million lead no matter how many molecules I pick up–no dilution.

      Here is what is happening:

      If I put 1 million molecules (parts) of Himalayan salt together of which 0.1 molecule is lead, that is 1 ppm. Now if I put 1000 times that many molecules Himalayan salt together from which EACH 1 million contains 0.1 molecule lead, then the 1000 million (1 billion) will have 1000 times 0.1 parts (molecules) lead => 1000*0.1=100.

      I don’t charge for math lessons–I used to.


  13. How do you factor in the quantity though? While we can drink one gallon of water per day, we only eat 4 grams of salt per day … that’s one thousand times less in weight.

    • Hi Loic,

      I don’t think that quantity matters if lead does not leave the body. It builds up. So if someone eats 3 teaspoons of Himalayan salt a day versus someone who eats only 1 teaspoons, the speed with which the person with 3 teaspoons reaches his or her lead maximum threshold is faster than the one who eats only 1 teaspoon. Because lead stays in the body and adds up, the amount of how it is diluted is really irrelevant. The water will be excreted and the lead is left behind so only the lead amount matters.

      Plus because each person is different. You may get sick from a very different amount of lead in your body than I would, for example.

      My question is this: how do we know it is lead poisoning when it is not part of the standard blood testing routine? I deal with many fibromyalgia sufferers most of whom eat Himalayan salt. Do they have fibromyalgia because of lead poisoning? Or is fibromyalgia from something else? On of the symptoms of lead poisoning is peripheral neurophathy and the other is mylagia. These are also symptoms of fibromyalgia… So what is what? I think I will be asking my fibromyalgia patients to ask for a lead poisoning test!

      Thanks for your comment,

      • Your fibromyalgia patients will likely show similar patterns in a hair tissue mineral analysis done by the only proper lab I know who does HTMAs “right”: Trace Elements Incorporated (TEI). Your patients will show high calcium and latent or high copper. The more inflammation they have the higher their sodium-potassium ratio will be. They likely lack manganese, their selenium level will be subpar and lithium may be exhausted. You will not find chronic lead exposure as a high level of lead in blood. Blood is only a transport medium. You may find elevated ZPP and FeP levels, plus porphyrins in urine. You can escort lead out of your system by supporting glutathione complex with selenium(-methionine), lithium (small doses as orotate), Vitamin B2 and 3 and Vitamin C, if needed even with liposomal glutathione. Patients need to make sure that levels of balancing minerals and metals are supplied, a thorough study of their HTMA is needed. It is crucial to understand whether your patient is a slow or fast oxidizer, and you need to know how metals and minerals behave in vivo to flood the body with the minerals and metals that can escort the toxic metals out… it is a form of the healing arts that does exist: orthomolecular medicine!

        • Thanks Karen. I am going to pass this on to them. Not sure how many doctors can actually use this treatment who are not naturopath doctors. Since I am in neuroscience, I am not equipped with any of these but maybe we can find some solution for everyone. Those in Sedona I suppose can go visit you. 🙂 Thanks for the information!


  14. The amount of parts per billion is less important than the amount of lead ingested.

    The amount of lead in drinking water is much more important because if you drink 2 litres of water everyday (2kg) that is 730 kg of water in a year or 1600 lbs per year.

    The average person eats maybe 1/2 pound of himlayan salt per year.

    That is the same as 10 pounds of water with 5 ppb lead in it.
    That is less than 5 days worth of water.

    The reason the lead level is low for water is because humans drink a lot of it.

    Yes I agree no lead in any of our water or food would be best.

    • I agree Ross. It really is quite unimportant how much lead you inject if indeed, as a heavy metal, it stays with you forever. That can indicate that no matter how tiny amount we eat/drink, after a number of years of ingesting it every day, it may add up to the particular threshold level that is unique to each individual. That threshold level may get us sick but without any direct symptoms to show we have lead poisoning. If you read the symptoms below, none shouts “lead poisoning”! So we may end up being treated for a whole lot of diseases that we do not actually have and all that because we have lead in your body. I sure hope that some day we figure out how to remove lead from the body so that it will not make us think that we have peripheral neuropathy and end up being treated with a voltage gated calcium channel blocker that pretty much stops our entire body and brain from functioning. Thus no lead in water or salt or food or paint, or even as a lamp, is acceptable! None!
      Thanks for your comment!

  15. Lead does cross the placenta & it also passes through brestmilk. Only about 5% of what is in mom’s blood crosses into her milk, so the typical recommendation is to keep breastfeeding unless mom’s levels are very high. Unfortunately the placenta is not as good of a lead filter as the boobs. Even if mom was exposed to lead in her childhood & stored it in her bones, she can pass it in to baby during pregnancy. Lead Safe America is a great site for more info.

  16. Is your math wrong? If it’s 0.10 parts per million, wouldn’t it be only 0.00010 parts per billion? Your math of multiplying by 1000 would be 100 parts per THOUSAND. Am I missing something here?

    • No Dianne. In the CNN report 5 part per billion were bad. If you convert this amount to parts per million, then you are right. In parts per million this would amount to 0.005. So in the case of lead 0.005 ppm (parts per million) is equal to 5 ppb (parts per billion). In Himalayan salt we have 0.10 ppm, which is several magnitudes larger than the 0.005 ppm lead in the water in Flint. That is the whole point though I understand the math is confusing.

      • Ok, thanks for the explanation. So how is Himalyan sold legally? Are they not regulated by the FDA or EPA? Thank you!

        • Apparently Diane. Not sure how it is able to pass through–perhaps it is not checked thinking it is only salt. In each salt amount picked up and checked the lead amount is probably too small for to measure without spectral or serious chemical analysis. The EPA or FDA may not consider that small amount to be danger from a single meal but if eaten repeatedly it can become a health hazard.

          Look around though. I can see this very same thing happening with sugar.

          Studies show that sugar is much more addictive than some street drugs. Sugar is legal, street drugs are illegal. Sugar is known to have caused a very large part of the obesity epidemic we are facing. That is an even more immediate concern. And while street drugs are rightly illegal, we can feed our babies with sugar from day one. I just saw a news report that we now have nearly 50% of US babies obese by age 6 months. We also have our first 3-year old with diabetes 2. Sugar clearly is very harmful but is still permitted.

          Aspartame is well understood to be extremely harmful (even with FDA warnings of late!) yet at least one OTC medicine (B-12 sublingual) is full of aspartame. I am sure others are as well. Either the FDA and EPA do not pay attention or lack funds to follow it all. I would hate to think the third alternative: not understanding it at all.

    • The danger with lead paint is that it degrades j to fine, microscopic dust as it ages. This appears like ordinary house dust that accumulates in areas like window sills. Kids pick this up on their hands and ingest toxic amounts (it only takes quantities in millionths of a gram to poison) through normal hand-to-mouth activity. Also, if you renovate or repair a pre-1978 home, you can generate lead paint dust unless you follow some simple lead safe practices. Here is a good article on understanding lead levels and some easy tips to eliminate it from your home: http://lockuplead.com/how-lead-affects-iq/

      • Thanks John. Great information. I am sure there are still homes out there with lead paint. I also just found the CDC information page on lead that suggests that indeed even lead dust is harmful and also another that explains that any lead level is unacceptable for children. This would then totally make Himalayan salt and other salts with any level of lead in them unacceptable for consumption. Thanks for your link!

  17. What is theory about Himalayan Salt Lamps? Do these release toxic lead and mercury into the air? If you handle them, will you be exposed to the same?

  18. Wow this is very scary!! That’s all we use if we use salt. I have been using it on my two year olds food probably daily for a year not a lot but def some salt! He’s developing fine but has been comparing of tummy issues and constipation. Now I am wondering if it’s the salt!

    • Hi Joe,

      I never thought about using it as bath salt but since you are not ingesting it, it must be safer than eating it. I cannot advise you since I am not an expert on lead so just musing here on the thought.


      • But one might want to take into consideration that what one puts into a bath gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the skin, without benefit of being filtered by the digestion process. If you wouldn’t eat it, you wouldn’t want to put it into your bath, either.

      • Your skin is your largest organ, everything your skin touches is absorbed into the skin (and scalp as well), within 12 seconds. I find it a bit odd a doctor doesn’t know that. Before I take you at your word, I will need to read the rest of the comments, then thoroughly check your credentials. The world is full of deliberate misinformation, and this is a big deal. I’ve been using Himalania Himalayan salt for years and have a little salt lamp, so before I go plunk loads of money down on blood testing, I need to know why such a highly qualified doctor has no knowledge of one of the most rudimentary facts of the human body. Pores don’t open people, they are the filter to your largest organ, open to everything 24-7, including your chlorinated tap water coming out of your shower.

        • Orishaisma, no one said what I do or do not know. This is not a thesis but a report on something very specific. If it is full of misinformation, that is great since none of it is information I created. I merely combined information available by literature search and by listening to the news. Not a single word in the paper is my research. When I write a research paper, I will denote a section specifically stating “research paper” from now on. This is not one of them. Pores do open people… lol.


    • I would think that bathing with it would also be dangerous. If you take a hot bath and your pores are opened, can’t this make it easier for the lead to seep into your skin and then find its way into blood vessels? Almost everything we put on our skin can be absorbed. So, I would think it wouldn’t be a good thing.

  19. Just to clarify: Your recommendation is to abstain from Himalayan Pink Salt completely? Are there concerns for heavy metals, mercury, or radiation exposure in regular table salt, or is it just limited to Himalalayan? Also, how did you quantify the lead content?

    • Hi Melissa,

      I have no recommendation at all. This article was to inform you about what is in Himalayan salt. Once you know, it is your decision if you want to eat it or not. My level of safety threshold need not be the same as yours. 🙂


  20. Angela A Stanton, Ph.D

    Wonderful study about Lead.
    Can I have your views on maximum amount of Mercury for humans?
    And what amount of Mercury is toxic?
    Why then Infants are given over 100 to 200 times more Mercury in vaccines?

    Would like to know this from you.

    • Hi Herman,

      I have not looked at mercury and I certainly have not looked at vaccines. That topic is for another day. I am sorry I cannot help you on this subject. Until the CNN statement I had no idea that lead had a 5 ppb level that is already harmful. It is as new to me as to you. I am also not sure if really truly there is mercury in vaccination. Different sites tell you different things.


      • There is still thimerasol in many vaccinations, it’s right on the vaccine inserts in the ingredients. Thre is a ton of information all over the internet about what is considered a “safe” level of mercury, if one wanted to look it up.

        • That may be Echota but this is really an article on lead. Yes, Himalayan salt also contains mercury–not any safer than lead–and while it is a reasonable discussion, it needs to be given on a follow up article that evaluates mercury. One of these days when I have the time to do some research on that, I will and I will post an article on that. Thanks for your comments.


  21. Which Himalayan salt has lead, mercury etc. is it all pink salt or just ones from certain sources , from which sources are bad?

    • Hi Naomi,

      All colors of Himalayan salts do because they are fossilized salts. That means they were “fresh salts” before the Himalayan lifted from under the sea millions of years ago and as it lifted, the metals leeched through and under the weight and pressure from the mountain it heated up. This formed the concern because all Himalayan salt now are fossilized, radioactive, and have lead and mercury in them. Sad and scary! So just enjoy some other type of salt. Also note that Himalayan salt has only trace iodine. Thyroid needs iodine for proper hormonal functioning. If you have no Hashimoto’s or Grave’s disease, please eitehr choose iodized salt or if you prefer un-purified salt (sold by “sea salt” though all salt are sea salt) then supplement the iodine deficiency in the salt by extra iodine.


        • If you want fully natural then eat sea weed but you need to eat a lot. If you settle for a pill, the natural versions are made of kelp (I take Norwegian Kelp) and there is of course the synthetic kind. They all work the same way. I happened to bump into the Norwegian because I was looking for the lowest dose. Adults only need 150 mcg iodine a day (pregnant and lactating more and children less) but even the Norwegian is too much (250 mcg a pill) so I chop it in half since I eat iodized salt only some of the iodine evaporates so substituting is a good idea. Most women my age have underactive thyroids and I saw my blood test heading in that direction based on the trend when I started taking it. Now my test is back to normal. It is really important for the body. 🙂 I get mine on amazon but I am sure all reputable supplement stores will have several types.

        • oh and I forgot Diane, I just eat iodized table salt. Since all salt is from the sea, table salt is sea salt. Since the body only uses NaCl and table salt is just that, I only use table salt. If I want minerals and nutrients, I eat that in my food.

            • No Marge. I am discussing (not criticizing) fossilized salt. Perhaps you missed that part. Himalayan salt is millions of years old and is fossilized under great pressure as the Himalayan lifted from the sea. It heated up and thus is radioactive plus it has some heavy metals in it. That is not a criticism but a fact.

          • Iodized table salt is highly processed garbage. You are not helping your body by eating it, just as with highly processed white flour and white sugar.

  22. Wow this is very scary. I was advised by my functional med dr to mix 1/4 tsp twice a day in water. I did this for over a year including a time when I was pregnant. Wish I could go back in time.

    • Hi Lauren,

      Very scary indeed. But luckily you stopped. The amount in 1/2 a teaspoon is very small and though it stays with you for life, it is not going to harm you if it did not already show signs of harm. It may be below the threshold of harming you and that is fine. In terms of your baby: lead probably (not sure, so ask) does not cross the placenta… I recommend that you have your baby tested (it is a blood test) or at least ask your doctor but I am pretty sure your baby is OK if he/she is developing just fine. <3


    • Don’t doubt your person Functional medicine Doc over an article that is poorly referenced and is comparing lead in water to lead in salt…which are 2 different things. It’s too bad a scare has been created.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Dear New Athletic Bra

Next Story

Blood Clots With Hormonal Contraception

Latest from Family Health