Ions are electrically charged atoms or molecules. When a gas atom or molecule gains an electron from high energy sources, it becomes a negative air ion. Energy sources include sunlight, atmospheric cosmic rays, radioactive elements, thunder, lightning, forcefully moving water, and plant-based sources. Salt lamps are believed to release negative ions that trigger physiological reactions, which increase the production of serotonin, the hormone linked to heightened mood and energy. According to a 2018 review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, which covered about a century of research articles, some investigations suggest negative air ions may confer health benefits. However, some results need further verification as they may have overestimated the purported effects. Overall, the current body of studies on negative ions is far from conclusive. Besides, salt crystals would require an enormous amount of energy to emit negative ions — much more than what a light bulb produces.
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