Targeted Further developement
and responsible implementation
of nanosilver products
The healing effect of silver was known even in antiquity. In the 19th century, decades before the discovery of antibiotics, doctors used nano-scale silver under the trade name "Collargol" to fight acute and chronic putrefaction in surgery and gynaecology . The effective substance was called colloidal silver. The term "nano silver" did not exist yet. The preparation contained silver at a scale of 10-20 nm .
It was used, among others, to improve wound healing or to reduce inflammation . Significant problems and side effects are not known from the historic use of nanoscale silver. The appearance of antibiotics displaced nanoscale silver in medicine.
As in all medical products, only targeted use of nano-silver under consideration of the right dosage is recommended. For example, there is an alterative-medicine scene that recommends a daily intake of colloidal silver at a very low concentration of less than 10 ppm (parts per million, 10 µg/mL) to prevent sickness . In contrast to this, Gastrarctin is taken against gastritis at a concentration of 2500 ppm (2,500 µg/mL). It must be considered that all medical products have a therapeutic window within which their benefits exceed their adverse effects.
Scientific studies examine the effects of nano silver on cell cultures and in animal tests . In rare cases, humans may suffer from argyria due to long-term high silver intake (see information on the right). Targeted use of nano silver at a good dosage, however, may have therapeutic benefits.
Colloidal silver and nano silver
Colloid: Particle that is finely distributed in another material, typically at a size of 1 nm to 10 µm .
Nanoparticles: Particles at a size of 1-100 nm that have different functions than the larger-scale material
All nanoparticles are therefore small colloidal particles but not all small colloidal particles are nanoparticles .
Cosmetic changes without resulting long-term effects on health
This is a rare health impairment of humans from a considerable long-term silver burden. The skin and nails permanently acquire a blue-grey discoloration (argyria), as do the eyes, mucous membranes and internal organs (argyrosis) . However, there are no long-term effects on health.