Silver and silver compounds are widely used in the jewellery industry and in photography. Silver sulphadiazine has antibacterial properties and is used in ointments which are applied to the skin after severe burns.
Silver is relatively non-toxic and exposure to large amounts is necessary to produce argyria which is a grey skin colouration caused by deposits of silver selenide. Renal, hepatic and neurological toxicities have also been reported.
Laboratory Indices of Exposure
Silver may be measured in blood and urine, and close monitoring of patients under treatment with silver-containing creams is recommended.
Stokinger HE Chapter 29 – Metals, in Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, 3rd Revised Edition, Volume 2A. Eds Clayton GD and Clayton FE. Wiley Interscience, 1981.