Toxin Profiles

Substance Name

Silver
Identification Number: CASRN | 7440-22-4

  Nastiness Attributes


  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.

    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Toxic to specific organs

    Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.


  • CATEGORIES: Food Additives with E Numbers | Colours | Pit Chemicals | Chemicals detected in flowback and produced water - collectively referred to as - hydraulic fracturing wastewater | Household Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Food Toxin | Natural Toxin | PESTICIDE active ingredient | Pesticide approved in USA (California)
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Inorganic Compounds | Homogeneous Metal Compounds | Homogeneous Transition Metal Compounds | | Homogeneous Transition Metal Compounds
  • SYNONYMS: Ag | Ag(1+) | Ag+ | Argentum | Silver cation | Silver ion (1+) | Silver metal | Silver(0) | Silver(1+) | Silver(1+) ion | Silver(I) cation
  • DESCRIPTION: E Number: E174 | Food Additives with E Numbers used in Australia, NZ, UK and the EU. Over 400 in total. | Substance has been approved in: Australia and NZ | EU and UK | | Colours | Colouring agent | Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Unknown | Silver is widely distributed in the earth's crust and is found in soil, fresh and sea water, and the air. It is readily absorbed into the human body with food and drink and through inhalation, but the low levels of silver commonly present in the bloodstream (< 2.3 b.mu g/L) and in key tissues like liver and kidney have not been associated with any disease or disability. Silver is not an acknowledged trace element in the human body and fulfills no physiological or biochemical role in any tissue even though it interacts with several essential elements including zinc and calcium. Physiologically, it exists as an ion in the body. Silver has a long history in the treatment of human diseases, including epilepsy, neonatal eye disease, venereal diseases, and wound infections. It has been employed in water purification and is currently used to safeguard hospital hot water systems against Legionella infections. Principle routes of human exposure to silver nowadays are through its widespread use as an antimicrobial agent in wound care products and medical devices, including in-dwelling catheters, bone cements, cardiac valves and prostheses, orthopedic pins, and dental devices. In each case, the antimicrobial properties of silver are dependent upon release of biologically active silver ion (Ag*) from metallic silver (including nanocrystalline forms), silver nitrate, silver sulfadiazine, and other silver compounds incorporated in the various devices, and its lethal effect on pathogenic organisms. Experience has shown that a large proportion of the silver ion released from medical devices not required for antimicrobial action is disseminated into tissue fluids and exudates, where it combines with albumins and macroglobulins. These silver-protein complexes are absorbed into the systemic circulation to be deposited in key soft tissues, including the skin, liver, kidney, spleen, lungs, and brain. As a xenobiotic material, silver must be presumed to present a health risk to exposed persons under some circumstances. Unlike the well-documented neurotoxic metals including lead and mercury, silver does not appear to be a cumulative poison and is eliminated from the body through the urine and feces. Excretion of silver by these routes may be a measure of mean daily intake, but since this view is based largely on the clinical use of silver nitrate and silver sulfadiazine used in burn wound therapy, its true relevance in the metabolism of silver used in the wider context of medical devices is questionable. Argyria is the most widely publicized clinical condition associated with silver accumulation in blood and soft tissues. It commonly occurs in individuals exposed to high levels of silver occupationally (metallurgy, photography, and mining industries), or consuming or inhaling silver hygiene products (including colloidal silver products) for long periods. Silver is absorbed into the body and deposited in the perivascular regions of the skin and other soft tissues as black granules of silver sulfide or silver selenide. The resulting slate grey discoloration of the skin occasionally associated with melanogenic changes, is semipermanent and cosmetically undesirable but is not known to be life-threatening. (A7730).
  • COMMENTS:
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: Ag
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | TEDX | EPA in USA | FSANZ and FSA | DPR
  • LAST UPDATE: 21/04/2015

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Exposure to high levels of silver for a long period of time may result in a condition called arygria, a blue-gray discoloration of the skin and other body tissues. Argyria is a permanent effect but does not appear to be harmful to health. Exposure to high levels of silver in the air has resulted in breathing problems, lung and throat irritation, and stomach pains. Skin contact with silver can cause mild allergic reactions such as rash, swelling, and inflammation in some people. (L808)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Exposure to high levels of silver for a long period of time may result in a condition called arygria, a blue-gray discoloration of the skin and other body tissues. Argyria is a permanent effect but does not appear to be harmful to health. While silver itself is not toxic, most silver salts are, and may damage the liver, kidney, and central nervous system, as well as be carcinogenic. (L808, L809, L810) | Silver and its compounds can be absorbed via inhalation, orally and dermally. It distributes throughout the body, particularily to the liver. Insoluble silver salts are transformed into soluble silver sulfide albuminates, bind to amino or carboxyl groups in RNA, DNA, and proteins, or are reduced to metallic silver by ascorbic acid or catecholamines. Metallic silver is oxidized and may deposit in the tissues, causing arygria. Silver is eliminated primarily in the faeces. (L808)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Metallic silver is oxidized and may deposit in the tissues, causing arygria. The silver ion is known to inhibit glutathione peroxidase and NA+,K+-ATPase activity, respectively disrupting selenium-catalyzed sulfhydryl oxidation-reduction reactions and intracellular ion concentrations. Silver nanoparticles are believed to disrupt the mitochondrial respiratory chain, causing oxidative stress, reduced ATP synthesis, and DNA damage. (L808, A243, A244, A245, A246) | The silver ion is known to inhibit NA+,K+-ATPase activity, disrupting intracellular ion concentrations. (A243)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Most silver is produced as a by-product of copper, gold, lead, and zinc refining. Silver is a precious metal used to make ornaments, jewelry, silverware, and currency coins. It is also used in electrical equipment, mirrors, dental fillings, and brazing alloys and solders. Silver compounds are used in photographic film and as antibacterial agents. (L808, L809)

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  Exposure Routes

These are the Exposure Routes we have so far for this substance. There are almost certainly more. We update this section regularly. The number of chemicals with 2 or more nastiness attributes in an exposure route is shown in orange. They grey badge shows the total amount of chemicals within the exposure route.


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