Dishonest Silver Companies
Misinformation is being spread by most sellers of colloidal silver. Most sellers boast about colloidal silver by showcasing its long history of safe usage, but they simultaneously claim to use a proprietary process that makes their silver superior to all other silver products. Their admitted usage of non-standard manufacturing processes means that they cannot sincerely use the safety history of colloidal silver as an example of their own product's safety, or honestly declare that their untested proprietary product is as effective. If a different manufacturing process is used, then the result cannot actually be colloidal silver. There is only one way to make colloidal silver, and any other manufacturing process will yield an entirely different product. Hence, the marketing for most colloidal silver is patently dishonest from start to end. This is not an indictment against colloidal silver itself, but its sellers tend to be morally bankrupt, and the product that they sell is a potentially dangerous fraud. Every manufacturing short-cut seems to have consequences.
We are aware from patent applications that some companies are producing silver solutions using fermenting bacteria combined with silver nitrates, instead of using electricity; but we do not know exactly which silver products are manufactured using this deplorable process. Whenever silver products are produced this way, they are inherently tainted with the dangerous nitrate compounds that the pharmaceutical silvers became infamous for. The effects of these toxic impurities can be much more severe than mere skin discolorations. Organ damage is a known consequence of using nitrate compounds, and cancers.
Most sellers of modern colloidal silver advertise that their product contains between 10 and 20 parts per million. They probably seek this concentration due to the research of Alfred Searle. He authored the book, The Use of Colloids in Health and Disease, in 1920. He also ran Searle Pharmaceuticals. His company was respectable in its early history, and Searle was long dead before his company dishonored his memory by selling itself to Monsanto. In his book, Mr. Searle reported that a concentration of just 20 parts per million of silver was proven to be deadly to all known pathogenic life forms, including every known virus. However, these results do not equate to the 10-20 parts per million ratings that can be found on most silver products of today. The reason is that the methods of testing have changed dramatically.
Alfred Searle used a Tyndall meter to measure how many particles of silver were present in a solution. It is a device that uses light to test for hue and reflection, which are used to determine the particle count and their size. These devices use light wavelengths as the means of measurement. Most modern sellers of silver products instead purchase an electronic device that measures the conductivity of the finished product. The conductivity of different solutions will always vary greatly, so these meters cannot possibly do what they are advertised to do. For example, if salt were added to the water, then it would have a different effect on the conductivity than if copper were added, because of their differing electrical properties. Yet the sellers of these meters claim that they are able to get accurate results measuring particle counts regardless of a solution's ingredients. If salt or another electrolyte exists in the water, the conductivity of the water will increase dramatically, even whilst the number of particles will stay roughly the same. Particle size and the temperature of the solution also effect the conductivity, which the meter has no way of determining. Even a gust of wind will give a different reading, due to the electrostatic effect upon the surface of the solution. In the case of colloidal metals, electrically gauging the concentration is even more futile than it is for other types of solutions, because the metallic liquid is an electrolytic capacitor with a constantly changing capacitance. Electricity cannot be used to measure the amount of metal in a solution when the surface area of the metal cannot be verified, and when the capacitance of the solution is ever-changing. It is like trying to get a consistent light measurement from a fireworks display. The capacitive solution itself will produce its own tiny currents, and it will block currents from the meter, which makes electronic testing an exercise in absurdity. The only way to accurately measure concentration in a metallic colloidal fluid is using light. Thus, the parts per million rating given by most colloidal and ionic silver sellers is meaningless. Since colloidal silver changes the color of the water, clear colloidal solutions are frequently just expensive water, regardless of any measurement that sellers purportedly get. In the case of ionic silvers, it is impossible to measure the particle count, since the particles are too small to reflect light.
TDS Meter, the de facto manufacturer of the new testing equipment, even acknowledges the uselessness of its own meters on its website, in an amusing attempt at damage control:
" ...temperature changes by a tenth of a degree may increase or decrease the conductivity. Additionally, the temperature coefficient (what the reading is multiplied by to adjust for temperature differences) changes slightly depending upon the range of ppm... Even a tiny air bubble that has adhered to one of the probes could potentially affect the conductivity, and thus the reading... Electrical charges off fingers, static eletricity off clothes, etc. on the meter and lingering electrical charges in the water will affect the conductivity of the water... Plastic cups retain lingering electrical charges more than glass. If the meter touches the side of the glass or plastic, it could pick up a slight charge. If the plastic is retaining a charge, it could also affect the water... The amount of water in the sample may affect the conductivity. Different volumes of the same water may have different levels of conductivity. Displacement may affect the conductivity as well... The depth and position of the probe in the water sample may also affect the conductivity. For example, if a meter is dipped into the water, removed and then dipped into the water again, but in a different spot, the reading may change... "
The expensive methods of testing colloidal solutions that are utilized by modern laboratories are likewise grossly flawed. Flame atomic absorption spectroscopy is one of the leading laboratory methods for analyzing colloidal solutions. It uses extreme temperatures to destroy a colloidal solution, and then observers rate the colors of the flames, in an attempt to visually gauge the metal concentration. Fire is impossible to control with the precision that is needed for a valid analysis; and of course, the test results are in the eyes of the beholder. These machines cost about $50,000 (U.S), so it is unlikely that anyone outside of the chemical industry actually owns one. There are similar devices that utilize a beam of light that is projected through the flames during the analysis. These devices have the same inaccuracy issues, and they are even more expensive.
True Colloidal Silver
We have been unable to find any sellers of silver solutions whom we could fully trust, so this is intended to assist people in producing their own colloidal silver. The silver solutions sold at retailers are essentially the homeopathic versions of colloidal and ionic silver products, which means that they are merely high-priced water. Some of the retail products that we examined had plenty of impurities (like iron that biologically neutralizes silver), but we found very little silver. Testing was impossible in the case of ionic silvers, which may be convenient for manufacturers. At many locations, the municipal water supply will contain more silver than the fraudulent retail products. The majority of retail products are fake, and these bogus products are the primary reason why so many people who are new to alternative medicine believe that silver is ineffective. The products that retail shoppers typically buy are usually no more effective than water, because they are water. People can either take their best guess in choosing the commercially-available products, or they can produce their own to ensure that it is real and of the best quality.