I saw a report online that showed Real Salt has 169 ppb of lead. I've heard that safe water is less than 15 ppb. Can you help me understand?

We’ve tested down to 0.05 ppm and lead wasn’t found.

We’re grateful you care so much about the ingredients you put into your body, and we’re right there with you. We’re extraordinarily careful about lead exposure in our lives too. But there are a lot of facts about lead and lead testing that can get overlooked or muddled in online reports and research. So, we’d like to explain a few important things about lead and our lead testing process that should put your mind at ease.

When it comes to lead testing, you’ll see one of two different measurements used: parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb). We test our products using ppm, which is the standard measurement used when testing for heavy metals in salt. No detectable levels of lead show up in our tests using this measurement.

Tests using ppb as a measurement are 1,000 times more sensitive. It’s possible trace amounts of lead could show up if we ran this more sensitive test (at this point, we’ve only tested down to 0.05 ppm and lead wasn’t found. But it wouldn’t be surprising if it was found when testing at a much smaller level). That said, we’re confident any trace amounts that would show up would still be well within safety limits. Here’s why….

At first, 169 ppb in salt may sound high when compared to 15 ppb in water. But there’s an important factor you have to put in context here: the amount of water vs. the amount of salt you consume per day. 

A 150 lb person likely drinks about 75 oz of water per day. At 15 ppb, they’d be getting about 31 micrograms of lead. At 169 ppb, someone who consumes 6 grams of salt per day (which is more than most people are probably consuming), would actually only be getting 1 microgram of lead. This is far below the Provisional Total Daily Intake set by the FDA for adults (75 mcg) and it’s even lower than the limit set for pregnant women (25 mcg) and children (6 mcg). 

At the end of the day, lead is the 35th most abundant element on earth and is naturally found in trace amounts everywhere, including our soil, water, salt, veggies, fruits, and other foods. It’s ultimately unavoidable. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but we don’t feel like trace amounts that appear naturally in foods are really where the big issue lies when it comes to lead.  

We hope this helps you feel confident about the safety of Real Salt. We take our customers’ well-being very seriously, and we would never sell a product that wasn’t properly tested and proven to be safe. We’re standing by if you have any other questions or concerns on this issue. Just reach out and let us know! And here's a copy of our latest mineral analysis in case you want to take a closer peek at it.