Silver (107,9 a.m.u.) Not a vital element. Silver and its salts are widely used in instrument manufacture, photography and jewellery. Significant amounts of silver were discovered in cereals and several mushrooms. Toxic effects caused by food sources of silver were not discovered. Gastro-intestinal absorption of silver salts is low due to its low solubility and ability of transformation of soluble salts into non-soluble silver chlorides in stomach.

In medicine silver salts are used as antiseptics and local cohesive agents. Causes of intoxication are mostly caused by uncontrolled intake of silver agents. Silver salts, excluding silver nitrate are not very toxic. Occasional intake of silver nitrate could cause damage of gastro-intestinal tract mucosa, stomach pain, diarrhoea, sickness, spasms and even death. Deficit of silver is not reported in literature. Depending on dosage silver could stimulate or decrease phagocytosis.

Affected by silver, quantity of immunoglobulins A, M and G is increasing, percentage composition of absolute quantity of T-lymphocytes is also increasing. Silver is xenobiotic; ions of silver are replacing ions in enzymes, e.g. (Co), responsible for metabolism and fertility. Maximum permissible concentration in drinking water is 0,05 mg/l and is normed on sanitary-toxic hazard level: hazard class 2 (highly hazardous). Use of silver in water, provided for the children feeding is prohibited on legislation level.

In cases of long-lasting intake of silver-containing agents and silver-containing water, kidneys could be damages, digestion and nerve system could be disordered. Clinical interest to silver research could be caused by the treatment of burn patients using silver sulfadiazine or monitoring of nasal decongestants usage (vasoconstrictive agents, decreasing nasal stuffiness).

Overdoses of silver – argyria – could be caused by chronic intake of inhalation of silver. It is indicating by irreversible change of skin, mucosa and nail colour from grey to bluish-grey. Argyria is associated with inhibition of growth, changes of hemiparesis, distensibility of cardiac chambers, degenerative disorders of liver with damages of kidney tubules. More than 1g of soluble silver salts could cause argyria.