Autumn 2013 True Natural Health Magazine – Your Questions Answered
By Roger French
QUESTION: I have been told that sea salt contains mercury and is not a good product to consume. If it is high in mercury, what is a good salt to use?
It so happens that a brief account of the different kinds of salt is given in the article, ‘Food for Feeling Great – Part 7’ later in this issue. For your convenience, here are the key points.
It is important to know whether sea salt is contaminated with this extremely toxic pollutant, mercury, which is present in sea water in its organic form, methylmercury. The most common effect of this chemical is damage to our central nervous system, which includes the brain.
An unrefined sea salt with a high reputation for freedom from pollutants is Celtic sea salt. This has been harvested from the salt fields of Brittany, France, which are protected sites to ensure purity. The French Ministry of Agriculture has certified Celtic sea salt as organic, so this is a good indication of freedom from toxic contamination.
An unrefined salt that is claimed to be the cleanest, most pristine salt available on the planet is Himalayan crystal rock salt, mined in the foothills of the Himalayas in Pakistan. The salt was sun-dried from oceans millions of years ago; it is pristine, unrefined and clean.
Regarding mercury in these salts, investigators say that Himalayan rock salt is completely free of mercury. When Celtic sea salt was analysed by a specialist laboratory, the level of mercury was either non-detectable or well under the published safe limit specified by Codex. Ordinary sea salt could have significant levels of mercury; it will depend on the source of the sea salt. It might therefore be wise to consume very small amounts.