Are Himalayan Salt Lamps to Parrots what Coal Mines Were to Canaries?

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Editor’s note: some of you may remember my journey enabling my mother’s return to Chicago Arlene (my mom) has been on five of the seven continents. Eight years ago at the tender age of 76 she spent three weeks traveling to China.

The Himalayas span five countries: India, Nepal, Bhutan, China (Tibet), and Pakistan, with the first three countries having sovereignty over most of the range. At the time, China had not closed the border to Tibet and she was able to spend three days there. According to mom the majesty, environment and the purity of the air you breathe in the Himalayas – cannot be understated.

So who doesn’t want clean air. The best way to bring clean energy your home apparently these days is with a Himalayan Salt Lamp. I’m old. I remember when fresh air meant “open the window” and drinking water was free.

File under – Life is a mystery – you do realize that it takes 6.4 – 20 ounce bottles of water to make 1 gallon (of liquid) meaning the $1 a bottle which you

regard as a bargain at your local convenience store translates to $6.40 per gallon for water while you’re now whining about gasoline when he goes over $2 a gallon?

What the heck is a Himalayan Salt lamp?


now let’s hear from Nora

Recently a couple of Sunday Brunch subscribers have asked about what Windy City Parrot knows about the safety of using the pleasingly pink Himalayan salt lamps that have become popular. If one or two people are wondering about an item’s safe use, others likely are as well.

Piece of Himalayan salt as a lamp with reflection (salt)

So, what happens when you ask two parrot experts a question about these salt lamps? While almost always Mitch and I see eye to eye, hence the great writing team we make, in this case we see things just a little differently.

I owned a sun conure and a medium size Himalayan salt lamp a while back. Both were in a large great room, probably about 1,000 square feet in size. I used the lamp frequently — almost daily — because I enjoyed the pleasant glow. I was and still am dubious as to whether there are any health benefits from simply operating these lamps or the presence of the large salt crystal, but I liked the ambiance produced. I experienced no ill effects to my bird or me. I did not find any sources that indicated the lamp I had generated ozone, only removed negative ions. Nor did I notice any health benefits to either of us. At some point in time, during one move or another, the lamp and I didn’t end up together.

Jamie, my roommate owns a black lory and a Himalayan salt lamp that are both in her bedroom. Her bird is healthy and quite active.

Instead of regular table salt, I use Himalayan rock salt just in case there are some health benefits whether I notice them or not. Not only is it considered “in style” but my roomies like it and so we all use it. While I remove cooked veggies I plan to give Timmy the Grey before seasoning, I’m sure sometime or another I may forgot or not be the cook and he may get a trace of the salt, but we do not salt heavily here by any means. We all know salt isn’t good for us or birds.

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