Pink Himalayan salt is a pretty popular trend these days with the health crowd, but from my personal experience, there are good reasons not to use it.
I surely wouldn’t be writing this without collecting data from hundreds of clients from all over the world (thank you to all my wonderful clients that participated in my salt study!).
Let me explain.
When doing Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) with my clients, we assess the hair for around 35 different minerals, including — calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, iron, manganese, chromium, selenium, cobalt, germanium, molybdenum, sulfur, uranium, arsenic, beryllium, mercury, cadmium, lead, aluminum, barium, bismuth, rubidium, lithium, nickel, platinum, thallium, vanadium, strontium, tin, titanium, tungsten, and zirconium.
HTMA a very non-invasive and cost-effective way to obtain a tissue sample. Similar to that of a biopsy, except with HTMA we aren’t looking for disease like a biopsy would, we are looking for nutrient status.
“Hair is a keratinized tissue consisting of protein. As the hair is being formed it is exposed to the internal metabolic environment including the blood, lymph, and extracellular fluids. Constituents entering the body are then accumulated into the hair and reflect a time-weighted exposure record of nutritional and toxic metal intake.” 
Something I see frequently with my clients is high-ish tin levels according to their hair analysis report.
Sources of Tin
There are several common sources of tin, like: 
- Canned Foods
- Dental Treatments
- Cooking Utensils
- Dental Fillings
- Stannous Fluoride
- Marine Paints
- Collapsible Metal Containers
But one source of tin I see much more than others is pink Himalayan salt. In fact, it’s now the number one question I ask my clients when I see elevated tin levels.
While I don’t see high tin levels in everyone that uses pink Himalayan salt, that may be due to the amount of salt used, as well the tin content may vary depending on the source, mining, and processing methods used by various pink salt brands.
So What Is Wrong With High Tin?
Tin doesn’t have a biological function in the human body, and tin levels should hover close to zero. According to Trace Element Lab, “it has been reported that an excessive level of tin can interfere with iron metabolism and will produce heme breakdown. Elevated tin also increases the excretion of selenium and zinc from the body.” 
Tin toxicity is also linked with the following symptoms [3, 9]:
- abdominal pain
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- skin and eye irritation
- cholangitis of the lower biliary tract
- psychomotor disturbance
- liver damage
Other Concerns with Pink Himalayan Salt (hint: heavy metals)
Aside from my concerns about pink Himalayan salt contributing to higher tin levels, there are other problems with the popular salt.
You see, pink Himalayan salt does contain some important minerals, but it also contains some toxic heavy metals (in bold below), as well as radioactive substances (show with * below), and known poisons (shown with ^^ below). 
According to The Meadow Spectral Analysis, the following are the minerals found in pink Himalayan salt:
“actinium, aluminum, antimony, arsenic, astatine, barium, beryllium, bismuth, boron, bromine, cadmium, calcium, carbon, cerium, cesium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, erbium, europium, fluorine, francium, gadolinium, gallium, germanium, gold, hafnium, holmium, hydrogen, indium, iodine, iridium, iron, lanthanum, lead, lithium, lutetium, magnesium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, neodymium, neptunium, nickel, niobium, nitrogen, osmium, oxygen, palladium, phosphorus, platinum, plutonium, polonium*, potassium, praseodymium, protactinium, radium*, rhenium, rhodium, rubidium, ruthenium, samarium, scandium, selenium, silicon, silver, sodium, strontium, sulfur, tantalum, tellurium, terbium, thallium^^, thorium, thulium, tin, titanium, uranium*, vanadium, wolfram, yttrium, ytterbium, zinc and zirconium.”
According to a 2020 study, heavy metals in pink salt can pose serious concern:
“Few studies have reported the mineral content of pink salts internationally, and found pink salt to contain a variety of essential nutrients including iron, zinc, and calcium, but found some samples also contained impurities or relatively large amounts of non-nutritive minerals such as arsenic, lead, and cadmium. No study has evaluated the nutritional composition of pink salt available for purchase. Non-nutritive minerals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, or mercury have no established health benefit and in relatively small doses, lead to multiple organ damage.” 
Speculation about about lead in pink salt is not new. 
Other concerns include that iron oxide (a.k.a rust) is what that gives pink Himalayan salt it’s rosy color [6, 7], as well as the environmental concerns associated with importing fancy salt that is a finite resource from the mines in Pakistan.
While pink Himalayan salt may have an tiny amounts of minerals that are good for health, it also contains those that are not good for your health as well, outweighing any positive benefit.
When it comes down to what salt to use, it’s a personal decision. Take my clinical opinion and observations with a grain of salt and do what feels best for you.
Ready to find out your where your body stands when it comes to minerals and toxic heavy metals? Get started with hair analysis today or learn more here.
Do you think fancy Himalayan salt is worth the hype? Please share in the comments!
 Trace Elements Lab