One of the oldest and most versatile minerals on earth, pink Himalayan salt is mined throughout the world and in several countries around the world. Known for its distinctive colour, the mineral is actually a mixture of several minerals.
Pink Himalayan salt, when mined in large quantities, is sold to consumers as a unique and expensive variety of rock salt. It has become very popular in the Western countries and especially in the USA, where a major proportion of the population and industry are from the Indo-Pacific region. In most of the Asian countries of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Thailand and China, pink Himalayan salt is a major export.
Unfortunately, with increasing development and commercialization of most areas, industrial pollution and treatment of this crystal by salting operations, the purity of the salt has decreased significantly. It has become easy to acquire pink Himalayan salt that does not contain this trace element but is still very toxic. Generally, the pink salt that is used in cosmetic products is still contaminated with trace amounts of the mineral that can cause serious health effects.
It is found in various forms of application. The pink Himalayan salt used in cosmetics and skin care products is often not mined or purified properly. Some of it contains lead, mercury, chlorine, arsenic, and formaldehyde. The yellow color of this mineral is attributed to the presence of lithium, which is poisonous to humans, animals and plants.
Although this pink Himalayan salt is mined from land and sea, it is generally produced on plantations with captive animals in most parts of the world. It is harvested only when it is full, making it difficult to do clean up in case of natural disasters, resulting in contamination of the surrounding area.
A health concern of pink Himalayan salt is the presence of lead, which is very dangerous to the health of children and fetuses. Lead poisoning can cause children to be hyperactive, develop learning disabilities, experience seizures, slowed growth, and mental retardation. Adults who are exposed to high levels of lead can experience brain damage, infertility, heart disease, heart attacks, and lung damage.
Another health hazard of this mineral is the high level of mercury in some batches of the pink salt. As a result, the mercury could pose a danger to both humans and pets, especially if the salts were given to young children.
There is another reason why this salt should not be used for industrial purposes. It can prove harmful if the salt gets into the water supply because of the presence of lead. This mineral is toxic to fish and can cause severe harm to shellfish.
Though lead may seem harmless at first, its presence in water can cause many health issues for those who consume fish or shellfish. When ingested, it can have varying effects including mental retardation, depression, kidney disorders, blindness, and brain damage.
Those using products containing pink Himalayan salt are advised to use a brush or sponge to clean their skin, hair and nails after use. This mineral can be harmful when it reaches the eyes or skin. It can cause irritation, rashes, and even allergic reactions.
The health risks of this mineral are now recognized all over the world. Its effects can be traced back to its first discovery, at the British Museum in 1673.
Like many minerals, this pink Himalayan salt may eventually become extinct, but it remains popular today. While it was once popular in the Eastern countries, it has enjoyed a great success in the USA, where millions of people and millions of dollars are being invested in various commercial enterprises. Nevertheless, this mineral must be regulated properly to avoid further damage to health.