OK, I’ve run across this guy 3 times this week. Once here, once on the TV news and once in (I think) FARK. Now I’m curious and have a few questions:
How much did he have to take to turn blue?
If he stops taking it will the blue wear off (or is it permanent)?
I vague remember that they used to use a silver solution for new-born’s eyes, is this the same stuff? Was it ever effective, or was this something that they did before they new better?
Silver Iodide was used in newborn babies’ eyes to prevent blindness from the mother’s sexually transmitted diseases. I forget which STD. The dose is tiny, and not enough to turn the child’s skin turn blue.
Stan Jones took homemade colloidal silver by mouth during the Y2K scare. He thought there would be a shortage of antibiotics.
Paul Karason applied it to his skin and also drank it, to treat severe dermatitis.
The FDA does not reccomend such large doses. Jones and Karason may have done harm to other parts of their bodies.
The incidence of developing substantial argyria and turning blue appears relatively low. From Quackwatch:
*"FDA laboratory studies have found that the amount of silver in some product samples has varied from 15.2% to 124% of the amount listed on the product labels. The amount of silver required to produce argyria is unknown. However, the FDA has concluded that the risk of using silver products exceeds any unsubstantiated benefit . So far, eleven cases of argyria related to silver products have been reported:
A 56-year-old man who had sold and used colloidal silver for three years, developed blue/gray discoloration of his fingernails accompanied by a very high blood level of silver .
A married couple who had three years of daily consumption of a drink prepared by administering an electrolytic charge to a bowl of water that contained a silver bar .
Another couple had been taking a silver-containing “dietary supplement” prescribed by a naturopath .
A mentally ill man who had been drinking silver-containing herbal tea for about 10 months .
Stan Jones, Montana’s Libertarian Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, who reportedly 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 two silver wires in a glass of water .
Two men, ages 63 and 76, developed argyria after a year of product use inspired by Internet claims .
A 16-year-old boy developed blue-gray pigmentation of his entire body after ingesting a silver-containing dietary supplement for a year. The product, packaged so that it was identical to bottled water. was touted as a preventive for everyday infections . *
So if someone is selling “colloidal silver” and there’s much less of the active ingredient than claimed, your risk is lower.
Of course, the number of cases (especially mild ones) is probably underreported, partly due to embarassment.
More significantly, the stuff just isn’t a reputable cure or preventative for infectious diseases, nor for all the other conditions (including cancer and arthritis) for which it’s touted. Colloidal silver has a substantial following among credulous alt med advocates, but it’s a waste of money with potential for toxic effects.
Silver nitrate and silver iodide have both been used in babies eyes at birth. A 1% solution, at a dose of one drop per eye. The sources I looked up spoke of preventing blindness “from bacterial exposure,” not specifically STD bacteria.
Question: Could the idea that the Picts were blue have anything to do with this condition, and not just the dye they favored, and warpaint they wore? Maybe someone saw a Pict or more than one Pict with this condition, silversmiths or silver miners perhaps? Could this be part of the myth? ETA: And yes, I also thought of the Discworld Pictsies (sp?) when I saw the most recent fellow to make the news in his interview.