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:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Fatigue / Irritability
- Impaired concentration
- Hearing loss
- Wrist / Foot drop
- Lead line on gingival tissue
- Reduced sperm count & motility
- Abnormal sperm
- Heme Synthesis
- Erythrocyte protoporphyrin elevation
- Chronic nephropathy with proximal tubular damage
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“