16 July 2012

Myths of Colloidal Silver

Some of you may well have heard of colloidal silver before, and some may have even worked with it. Others may have heard about it but have no idea what the term actually means and how it works. As it turns out, silver colloids are particularly useful mixtures which are widely used in laboratories all around the world.

The term colloidal silver was coined during the 1990s to describe a mixture containing silver nano particles whose silver content totals over 50% of the mixture. However, where many companies have come unstuck is in labeling their products as colloidal silver, without undergoing the detailed and often costly laboratory process to determine the exact levels of silver in their products. Many companies have advertised silver colloids, when the actual product on the shelves may be nothing of the sort.

So, how can you tell if a product is a true colloid or not?
There are a few telltale signs which show when the silver content of a solution is less than half. If the color of a solution is clear then it is not colloidal silver. In actual fact, true silver colloids in natural light will be amber in colour, as the silver particles suspended in the liquid absorb light at a different wavelength to most liquids. It stands to reason that the darker amber a liquid appears, the higher the concentration of silver nano particles it contains and the purer the mixture will be.

Another sure fire method of recognizing when a solution is not true silver colloid is when it has been labelled by the manufacturers as "mild silver protein" or "silver protein". The difference between these mixtures and true silver colloids are the size of the silver particles (a silver protein can be in the order of 100s of times bigger than a silver nano particle!). Of course there are plenty of other tests which show whether or not your solution is true colloidal silver or not, but as is so often the way with science, such tests are not quite so simple to perform outside of a laboratory.

Unfortunately, the trials do not stop there, as colloidal silver itself doesn't have a one size fits all approach, i.e. not all colloidal silver solutions have the same properties! If only life were so simple; the truth is that there are vast differences in the properties of silver colloids based on the concentration of nanoparticles, making the mixture suitable for use in varying applications. It is for this reason that if you wish to buy silver colloids, it is important you use an experienced producer of colloids that knows exactly how to engineer the perfect solution for your intended purpose.

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