I have received several emails concerning the case of argyria just reported regarding
Stan Jones and his use of homemade colloidal silver (CS). Argyria is a graying or bluing of the skin due to silver deposits in the skin
and other body tissues, caused by excessive silver intake or accidental exposure to
elemental silver. This discoloration is typically first noticed in finger-beds and gums. In
most cases it is not harmful but can be permanent.
I will discuss his case and two others I am aware of on this page.
Below is a brief excerpt from the recent AP news release about Stan
Jones and his argyria:
Montana's Libertarian candidate
for Senate has turned blue from drinking a silver solution that he believed would protect
him from disease.
Stan Jones, a 63-year-old business consultant and part-time college instructor, said he
started taking colloidal silver in 1999 for fear that Y2K disruptions might lead to a
shortage of antibiotics.
He made his own concoction by electrically charging a couple of silver wires in a glass of
Here is my response to this report. I refer a couple other cases, one,
presumably resulting from use of a silver nitrate prescription, and a case below (also referred to on another page
of mine) regarding homemade CS processed with saline (salt).
A few months ago, a woman wrote me. She took her own homemade colloidal silver 1-2
GLASSFULS daily for SIX years and got argyria (a bronze appearance in her case). I learned
from another person who corresponded with her that she used saline (salt solution) to
process it. (No wonder she could make it that fast in those quantities!) I don't recommend
the quantity she took, or making CS with salt.
I very recently revised my website to make this clearer, crossing out in
addition to my already present comments refuting use of salt in the process. I was not aware of this report
about Stan at the time I
edited it. It was less than 24 hours later that I saw this report of Stan Jones. The
method he used to make colloidal silver is very common. Two pure (not sterling)
silver wires are placed into a glass of water and are electrified by 27 volts DC battery power, one
connected to the neg. post, the other to the positive by wire or alligator clips. The
directions are available through many sources. Unfortunately, people are often ill-advised
to use sea salt or saline or even table salt as an additive to the water to
"enhance" the process (speed it up.) Another mistake is to use any
water other than high quality distilled water such as drinking water.
The problem is that presence of salt produces a large silver salt particles
such as silver chloride in addition
to making fine particle CS. Apparently, silver salts, not the fine-particle
colloidal silver is what can cause argyria. Otherwise, there would be far more cases of
this type of argyria being reported. Indeed, more reports may surface since the release of
the AP article. However, to think about or review this concern critically, we must have all the facts. Was a
salt or non-distilled water used in the process? How much of the product was consumed? Was
it in fact CS or a silver salt compound such as silver nitrate or silver
chloride that was consumed?
This is the same unanswered question regarding
the infamous "blue lady" who took prescription silver nasal drops for
allergies before antibiotics became the treatment of choice. Though silver
nitrates were the prescription silver drug used at that time, she insists that
it may have been a colloidal silver she took. She fails to distinguish between
the two, succeeding in confusing others that they are one and the same thing.
By definition, a colloid a very tiny, electrically charged particle, not a
large salt compound.
That's not to say that other people, even salespeople, are calling other
products CS when they are something else. For example, protein silver products
include particles too large to be called colloids. That's why they need to be
suspended in protein. Also, ground silver is not colloidal silver. If it is
not small enough that it is held in suspension by electrical charge, it is not
a colloid. It is simply elemental silver. (Another thing she confuses; all
silver is metallic; silver is a metal. She implies silver has non-metallic as
well as metallic forms.)
Silver salts are typically prescribed mostly topically although
silver salts were used in cough drops in the past. Concentrations were/are
3-10% or more, In other words, 3 parts per 100 to 10 parts per 100. There is
no documented particle size I am aware of, though it far exceeds that of
This is an enormous difference from colloidal silver at 5-30 parts per
million (ppm). That concentration is 0.0003-0.001%, not to
mention the particles themselves are minute in size.
I have a lot of respect for Rosemary as she tries not to speak beyond what
she understands. However, she looks at the issue far too simplistically.
Example (in blue):
She answers this question; her response follows:
Couldn't argyria be caused by the other things that were contained in the old
silver medications like the nitrates, salts and proteins?
Promoters tell me this all the time. The only thing in the bottle that they
haven't blamed yet besides the silver is the water. I respond that cirrhosis
of the liver is not caused by grapes, barley or grains. It is caused by
alcohol, the substance that all the beverages known to cause it have in common
and which the other ingredients used alone have never been known to cause.
Likewise, argyria is caused by silver. The thing that all the drugs that have
caused argyria have in common is silver. It is silver that is found in our
skin not the nitrates or the protein binders.
Yes, argyria is caused by silver. However, the problem with Rosemary's
argument is that it does not address the fact that
1)particle size and/or quantity does make a difference.
Using her rationale, we eat pepper in small quantities
sprinkled on our food. This does not bother most of us. Most of us would do
some serious damage to our GI tract and/or other body parts if we ate it in
big hunks. Same with alcohol, salt, any ordinary vitamin or mineral substance.
Examples: calcium, vitamin C, Vitamins A, D, E, and metals such as iron,
potassium and magnesium. Do we right off all these things as dangerous? Not
when used in moderation. (Some in fact are essential to our health.)
Likewise, if colloidal silver is indeed safe to consume in
small quantities similar to what silver we get in our daily food and drink,
that does not mean it is safe to consume pure silver in larger
quantities such as is the custom in India. (Puddings are topped with silver
foil that is eaten!) Another example: gold is used in some arthritis
prescriptions, but consuming pure gold in visible quantities is dangerous; it
is a heavy metal.
2)elemental silver (pure silver) is NOT the same material as silver
chloride, silver nitrate, etc. Thus it will have different properties in each
It is safe for most of us to consume moderate amounts of
sodium chloride (common table salt, or NaCl. But if we were to consume just
sodium, or just chloride, the results would be deadly. Rat poison is said to
be 99% pure food. But when combined with 1% arsenic or other poison, it is
unsafe to eat. So do we say that all food is poisonous because it is the
common ingredient in rat poisons, regardless of the brand or what the other 1%
ingredient is? Also, what if it were only 0.0003% arsenic? Would it be safe to
eat? Some people eat apple and grape seeds with arsenic routinely do not get
I wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Jacobs that colloidal silver needs to be
studied in order to provide evidence of its safety or danger and its benefit
or lack thereof. I also agree that many of us are being our own "guinea pigs"
in trying to figure this out. I appreciate the freedom we have in the U.S. to
do just that. I can not agree without proof that PURE colloidal silver
used in modest amounts can cause the same (or any) damage as silver salts and
raw elemental silver have been proven to do.
Back to Jones now...
I do not know if Jones made and consumed pure colloidal silver (CS) or CS tainted with
silver compounds (salts), but this is what I suspect.
Many people still use salt to make
their CS. I used to as this was a very common method circulating around in the mid to late
1990's. After learning more about it, I only used a pinch of baking soda to make an
initial batch of colloidal silver (low voltage generator) for starter if I did
not already have some CS for starter on hand. Then I'd take about an ounce of the
"starter" to speed up the process rather than to use salt or more
baking soda all the time. Today I use an HVAC (high voltage) commercial grade unit and never use any
additives. I would advise against any use except to make a little starter CS
as described above.
I don't know if he used high
quality distilled water or some other mineral-laden water that would cause
formation of salts in addition to colloidal silver.
The article just says "water". I assume it was potable water, but it is too
vague for me to assume whether or not he used drinking water, sterile water,
pond water, spring water, distilled water or what.
Although I can not
trace this source for accuracy, here's a link regarding someone who apparently
asked Jones about how he made his colloidal silver (with commentary):
In summary, I don't know what the guy from Montana used. I
strongly suspect he either used a salt
in the process, and/or took large quantities of highly concentrated CS or CS of poor
quality (large particle or containing some other salts of some kind, i.e., made with tap
water or well water instead of steam distilled water.)
Personally, I only use CS "as needed" i.e., if I've been exposed to something or
I feel out of sorts. I do not take it daily, and I only use between a tsp. and an ounce
(three tablespoons) once or twice daily depending on the strength of the CS. The highest ppm I have knowingly used was about 30 parts per million (ppm), but on average, it was
5-20 ppm. I did take it pretty regularly for Lyme disease several years ago
over a two year period, but since I recovered, I chose to be more conservative in using it.
The bottom line: If you make colloidal silver, don't use additives of any sort,
and use high quality distilled water, not tap or bottled drinking water which are both
loaded with other elements and minerals that could cause silver salts to form in your product.
If you buy colloidal silver, make sure what's in it and what it's
concentration is. Only purchase from a reputable source.
Any use of colloidal
silver by you is at your own risk.
An interesting verse to ponder...