This document contains the original text of the EPA's study of silver consumption which documents the relationship between the amount of silver ingested and the risk of argyria, as well as fully documenting all pertinent toxilogical information concerning the use of silver in the human body.
As the EPA studies show, the estimated amount of silver intake in order to be at risk for Argyria is 3.8 to 6 grams of silver.
One teaspoon of 5 ppm colloidal silver contains about 25 micrograms, or .025 milligrams, of silver. Six teaspoons, the equivalent of one fluid ounce, contains .15 milligrams of silver. The EPA's critical dose for a 160 lb. adult is 1.09 milligrams daily. According to EPA guidelines, a one ounce dose of colloidal silver is well below the critical daily intake for the development of argyria. Four ounces daily would equal approximately .6 milligrams.
However, all of this is dependent upon the body's actual retention of colloidal silver in the body's tissues. There is no existing data which addresses the very real differences between isolated ionic silver (particles sized .0003 - .05 microns in diameter), and silver compounds ( silver nitrate, silver arsphenamine , silver proteins, silver salts, silver acetate, etc.). Can a risk assessment for argyria based on high strength ionic silver compounds be applied to low PPM isolated silver solutions and colloidal silver? The answer is unknown.
There is accumulating evidence which strongly suggests that neither low PPM isolated ionic silver, nor minutely-sized silver particles build up in the body at the same rate indicated by the compound study data. Many researchers have traditionally been unable to explain the exact risk elements associated with silver toxicity-- why one individual is at risk for argyria and why another is not--when the ingested amount of silver is the same. As some of the research data shows, however, a selenium deficiency may be a determining factor.
If selenium and other dietary factors are the only determinants in the risks associated with argyria ( aside from obvious massive overdoses ), then dose quantities, frequency of use, and actual silver concentration become of paramount importance in gauging risk. If dietary intake and systemic availability of needed substances exceed those required as a part of silver elimination in the body, then the accumulation of silver in the body will not be comparable to the high potency compound products; therefore, the risk of argyria will not be equal.
Evidence presented in one study case conducted by Roger Altman lends credence to the idea that silver accumulation via oral use of an isolated colloidal silver product does not always occur. Needless to say, though, much further research on the subject is required in order to obtain definitive answers.
Some researchers believe that buildup of silver in the body is caused exclusively by the concentration of silver ingested, irrespective of the actual form of silver. Therefore, it would not likely matter whether one took a silver protein that contained one milligram of silver or one milligram of silver nitrate. The risk for argyria, whatever that may or may not be, would be the same.
However, we do not believe this to be the case. We do not believe that the body itself responds the same to silver compounds as it does to isolated silver. Data inferred from the above studies indicate a wide variance in the amount of silver deposited in those who have never taken a colloidal silver product. It is extremely unlikely that ANY of the people studied ( outside of silver-rich industrial conditions ) would have ingested large amounts of silver at any given time, and yet the variance in accumulation in body tissues infers that there are other factors involved in accumulation.
While it is our conclusion after four years of study that the risk of Argyria from the use of a quality isolated colloidal silver product is negligible, prudence suggests that actual silver intake be kept below 1.09 milligrams daily until scientific evidence indicates otherwise. In the event that greater doses are required for long term treatments, dietary measures to augment the body's elimination system, including Selenium and Vitamin E supplementation and proper hydration of the bod, are likely a good idea. Measurement of silver accumulation in the body every six months would also be a prudent and revealing measure. Considering the actual silver content per dose, the development of argyria would only occur over a long period of time with unnecessarily large amounts of colloidal silver used daily. Even the most conservative estimates would put the time frame in excess of three years.
Cure for Argyria