Several features of this article are of note. It says, "nose drops of unknown composition were given....." It does not say, " Colloidal Silver
was given" or even that it was silver for that matter, though we know from further investigation that it was. So, we know she got argyria from some sort of silver based nose drops. The next sentence is telling; It says, " Colloidal Silver
products sold in the early 1900s had silver concentrations as high as 30 percent." They have jumped from "nose drops of unknown composition" to " Colloidal Silver
." The uninitiated reader would logically conclude that Rosemary took colloidal silver. Though it is the conclusion likely drawn by reader, it is by no means the correct one. Rosemary Jacobs took silver nitrate. We know this because that was the preparation being given by doctors in prescription nose drops in the 1950's. The knowledgeable researchers at NEJM know this, but this is not the perception they wished to convey and conveying a perception is the intent here, not the objective reporting of an important clinical observation.
The nature of the colloidal silver mentioned here by NEJM is telling as well. It says that the colloidal silver from the early 1900s had concentrations as high as 30 percent. This is 300,000 parts per million. Obviously, this concentration of silver could not have been "dropped" in someone's nose as it would have had to be in a jell to stay in suspension for even a few seconds. Modern day colloidal silver is never found in concentrations of even 1 percent (10,000 ppm), much less 30 percent. The highest concentration I have seen on the market today is 1100 ppm. I think even this concentration is excessive, as many people are reporting good results with 3-5 ppm colloidal silver. That is 3/10,000ths to 5/10,000ths of 1 percent, a far cry from the pioneering products of a century ago. To compare silver nitrate or colloidal silver, thousands of times stronger than colloidal silver actually in use today is like comparing Vaseline and gasoline (both from petroleum) and issuing a warning on the use of Vaseline because it might explode.
The other modern case of Argyria on the record is that of Stan Jones, a recent state senatorial candidate of Montana who ran on the Libertarian ticket. His case was bantered about far and wide for months by the press. Unlike Rosemary's, his case actually was caused by colloidal silver. His was a homemade concoction of his own making. Though colloidal silver can be made at home safely, Stan's brew was of very dubious quality. Homemade colloidal silver should only be made slowly in distilled water using an electrolysis process. Stan Jones made his in tap water and let it "brew" for an hour. Though I cannot guess precisely the amount of silver in the product he made, it had to be hundreds of times any recommended concentration. Additionally, this "silver mud" had to have very large particles in the mix. Even with this strong, poorly made product, it took 4 years, ingesting 8 ounces
daily before anyone noticed a difference in his skin color. A reasonable, daily amount which gives many users good preventive against disease is about 1 ounce of 10 ppm colloidal silver. My closest calculation is that Stan took 800 times the recommended amount! It is no wonder he turned blue. Interestingly, he stayed very healthy despite his gross abuse of colloidal silver. Two things were proven by Stan's experience with colloidal silver. 1) Argyria is so rare it makes national news when it occurs, and 2)You can get Argyria if you make it 100 times too strong and take 8 times the recommended dose for 4 years. If one takes 800 aspirins in a day, he will die. If one tries to take 800 times the 64 ounces
of water recommended daily, he will die. If one tries to take 800 times the normal daily amount of air, he will hyperventilate and pass out.....and on and on. Of these and almost any other "overdose" one can imagine, the result is death. Gross abuse of colloidal silver over many years may discolor your skin.
The reason we hear so much about the "danger" of Argyria is not because it is likely to occur by use of colloidal silver but because it is the only charge its detractors can come up with. Colloidal Silver is the worst nightmare possible to its detractors. Who are the detractors of colloidal silver? Let's look at the cast of characters. In 1938, the medical and pharmaceutical industries finally got the congress to pass the law they had so long lobbied for. I am not going to debate the usefulness of this legislation which mandated formation of the Food and Drug Administration and took over regulation of what is today over 1/3 of the US economy (including food). There are pros and cons and this debate has been addressed thoroughly for many years in other forums. What has evolved from its formation is a consortium of strange bedfellows. If an FDA employee can please those he regulates in the drug industry while he is in his position at the Agency, he will have a good job waiting when he retires. It is very similar to the explanation of why Pentagon procurement officers end up as high ranking officers in the defense industry. Follow the money trail. It is not difficult. It is quite transparent as a matter of fact. The FDA/Pharma ties have been well established in congressional hearings in recent years, so I won't go over that territory again here. This relationship then, defines one class of the detractors of colloidal silver (and other alternatives to allopathic medicine), the FDA bureaucrats. They have been slowed but not stopped by recent legislation such as DSHEA, The 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. These career bureaucrats, motivated by the big money to be reaped at their future employers have so abused their power in violation of the letter and intent of the DSHEA that they were boldly admonished by Senator Dan Burton in a senate hearing recently. A summation of that letter can be found here: http://www.craigwinters.com/burton.htm
Another group of detractors of colloidal silver and other alternative medicine products and treatments is the self appointed, vigilante quack watchers. They have taken it on themselves (so they would have you believe) to watch out for the interests of the "American Consumer" to protect them from dubious "cures" and products which would steal their money and keep them from seeking "legitimate" medical treatment. It seems like a noble cause until you delve into their background, methods and cohorts. The most notorious of these "witch-hunters" is Stephen Barrett, MD. Ah, you say, he is a doctor! Well, he was a doctor until he gave up his license some years ago. Actually, he was a psychiatrist, a doctor of the mind, hardly a valid qualification for the crusade he has taken up. His wife is a real MD according to information on his website so don't be concerned that he has no other visible means of support. Also, he authored and co-authored several books of anti-alternative medicine. He became the darling of the medical industry in the 1980's with several awards for his books and articles attacking products and alternative modalities which have now been vindicated and even embraced by most of mainstream medicine. Chiropractic, Acupuncture, and the use of vitamins and minerals are among them. With most of his enemies vindicated, he crusades on to find more effective alternative treatments to demonize and destroy. Colloidal silver has become one of his favorite whipping boys in recent years with his willing accomplices, Rosemary Jacobs, FDA, FTC and the press.
The American and international press could be the most potent and powerful members of this Conspiracy
against colloidal silver and other medical alternatives. The reason for their participation is easy to figure. A large and growing portion of the advertising revenue on TV, radio, magazines and newspapers is from prescription drug commercials. A healthy population is not a good thing for the drug business. As more people find and use colloidal silver and other alternative treatments, the need for expensive, prescription drugs will diminish. This is the reason all the news services eagerly pick up stories against alternative medicine. For the last year as an example, the story of Rosemary Jacobs has appeared on CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC, CBS, Ripley's "Believe it or Not", and literally hundreds of newspapers and magazines. As carefully detailed above, the "facts" and conclusions, as published in the "story" are false on their face, but this has not stopped the colloidal silver detractors in the press from continuing the brainwashing of the public. (Can you say, propaganda?) What could be behind this systematic demonization of colloidal silver?
Could all these people and entities be truly worried that America will become a nation of blue-gray people? If this were the motivation, all they would need to do is start a picture campaign of all the discolored people. The populous would quickly realize that the risk of Argyria is very real. Why don't they just do this? The reason is that the parade would consist of only two people, hardly a convincing caravan, considering the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of users of colloidal silver in the US today. Personally, I have taken it daily since 1998 in a dosage which has kept me free of any infection (about a tsp/day of 20 ppm) and am as pink today as the day I started. The reason for the great concern by colloidal silver's detractors is not concern for the people, quite the contrary. The concern is for their own financial well-being. Without infection, allopathic medicine would be a mere shadow of its current self. It is infection (the action of germs in the body) which keeps the wheels of the medical industry profitably humming along.