Hair silver (Ag) levels reflect environmental exposure to the element. However, the hair is commonly contaminated with Ag from hair treatments, swimming pools and hot tubs.
Ag is not a essential element needed for health, and has relatively low toxicity. Some Ag salts are extremely toxic, however.
Sources for Ag are:
- metal and chemical processing industries
- photo processes
- jewelry making
- effluents from coal fired power plants
- colloidal silver products
The bacteriostatic properties of Ag have been long been recognized and used extensively for medical purposes, especially for the treatment of burns. There is much controversy over the long term use of consuming colloidal silver. Very high intake of colloidal silver has been reported to give rise to tumors in the liver and spleen of lab animals.
Colloidal silver is most effective for short-term use for cuts, bruises and burns, but long-term use should probably be avoided.