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Record Information
StatusDetected and Quantified
Creation Date2006-05-22 15:12:01 UTC
Update Date2020-02-26 21:24:13 UTC
Secondary Accession Numbers
  • HMDB02659
Metabolite Identification
Common NameSilver
DescriptionSilver is widely distributed in the earth's crust and is found in soil, fresh and sea water, and the air. It is readily absorbed into the human body with food and drink and through inhalation, but the low levels of silver commonly present in the bloodstream (< 2.3 g/L) and in key tissues like liver and kidney have not been associated with any disease or disability. Silver is not an acknowledged trace element in the human body and fulfills no physiological or biochemical role in any tissue even though it interacts with several essential elements including zinc and calcium. Physiologically, it exists as an ion in the body. Silver has a long history in the treatment of human diseases, including epilepsy, neonatal eye disease, venereal diseases, and wound infections. It has been employed in water purification and is currently used to safeguard hospital hot water systems against Legionella infections. Principle routes of human exposure to silver nowadays are through its widespread use as an antimicrobial agent in wound care products and medical devices, including in-dwelling catheters, bone cements, cardiac valves and prostheses, orthopedic pins, and dental devices. In each case, the antimicrobial properties of silver are dependent upon release of biologically active silver ion (Ag*) from metallic silver (including nanocrystalline forms), silver nitrate, silver sulfadiazine, and other silver compounds incorporated in the various devices, and its lethal effect on pathogenic organisms. Experience has shown that a large proportion of the silver ion released from medical devices not required for antimicrobial action is disseminated into tissue fluids and exudates, where it combines with albumins and macroglobulins. These silver-protein complexes are absorbed into the systemic circulation to be deposited in key soft tissues, including the skin, liver, kidney, spleen, lungs, and brain. As a xenobiotic material, silver must be presumed to present a health risk to exposed persons under some circumstances. Unlike the well-documented neurotoxic metals including lead and mercury, silver does not appear to be a cumulative poison and is eliminated from the body through the urine and feces. Excretion of silver by these routes may be a measure of mean daily intake, but since this view is based largely on the clinical use of silver nitrate and silver sulfadiazine used in burn wound therapy, its true relevance in the metabolism of silver used in the wider context of medical devices is questionable. Argyria is the most widely publicized clinical condition associated with silver accumulation in blood and soft tissues. It commonly occurs in individuals exposed to high levels of silver occupationally (metallurgy, photography, and mining industries), or consuming or inhaling silver hygiene products (including colloidal silver products) for long periods. Silver is absorbed into the body and deposited in the perivascular regions of the skin and other soft tissues as black granules of silver sulfide or silver selenide. The resulting slate grey discoloration of the skin occasionally associated with melanogenic changes, is semipermanent and cosmetically undesirable but is not known to be life-threatening. (PMID: 17453933 ).
Silver ion (1+)ChEBI
Argent. nit.HMDB
Argentum colloidaleHMDB
Argentum met.praep.d8(D10 D12 D15 D20 D30)HMDB
Argentum metallicumHMDB
Argentum metallicum (silver metallicum 6X)HMDB
Argentum metallicum 4ch - 30chHMDB
Argentum mettallicum gtte 4ch-30chHMDB
Astroflake 5HMDB
Carey lea silverHMDB
Col silHMDB
Colloidal silverHMDB
Collosol argentumHMDB
D 25 (Metal)HMDB
Degussa 67HMDB
Degussa 80HMDB
Dermazin CRM 1%HMDB
Dotite xa 208HMDB
FA 2 (metal)HMDB
Flamazine CRM 1%HMDB
g 12 (Metal)HMDB
Jelcon SH 1HMDB
KS (Metal)HMDB
L-3 (Element)HMDB
Lead refinery silver bullionHMDB
Liquid silverHMDB
Metz 25bHMDB
Pekana - argentum metallicumHMDB
Shell silverHMDB
Silflake 135HMDB
Silpowder 130HMDB
Silver atomHMDB
Silver atomic absorption standard solutionHMDB
Silver atomic spectroscopy standard concentrate 1.00 g agHMDB
Silver colloidalHMDB
Silver elementalHMDB
Silver ion standard solutionHMDB
Silver liquid (s#107)-liqHMDB
Silver metalHMDB
Silver metal and soluble compoundsHMDB
Silver nanoparticlesHMDB
Silver preparationHMDB
Silver standard for aasHMDB
Silver standard for icpHMDB
SSD (1% silver sulfadiazine cream usp)HMDB
Chemical FormulaAg
Average Molecular Weight107.8682
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight106.90509302
IUPAC Namesilver(1+) ion
Traditional Namesilver(1+) ion
CAS Registry Number7440-22-4
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
Description belongs to the class of inorganic compounds known as homogeneous transition metal compounds. These are inorganic compounds containing only metal atoms,with the largest atom being a transition metal atom.
KingdomInorganic compounds
Super ClassHomogeneous metal compounds
ClassHomogeneous transition metal compounds
Sub ClassNot Available
Direct ParentHomogeneous transition metal compounds
Alternative ParentsNot Available
  • Homogeneous transition metal
Molecular FrameworkNot Available
External Descriptors


Route of exposure:

Biological location:


Environmental role:

Biological role:

Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point960.5 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water SolubilityNot AvailableNot Available
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Physiological Charge1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area0 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count0ChemAxon
Refractivity0 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability1.78 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterNoChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleNoChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash KeyView
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-3126e0d9c9c0db35ef52Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-3126e0d9c9c0db35ef52Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-3126e0d9c9c0db35ef52Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-411976aa2a4fb62a6313Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-411976aa2a4fb62a6313Spectrum
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-411976aa2a4fb62a6313Spectrum
Biological Properties
Cellular LocationsNot Available
Biospecimen Locations
  • Blood
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)
Tissue LocationsNot Available
Normal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified0.0063 +/- 0.0058 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)Detected and Quantified0.0025 (0.0005-0.0046) uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
Abnormal Concentrations
Not Available
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease ReferencesNone
Associated OMIM IDsNone
DrugBank IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
FooDB IDFDB004188
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
Chemspider ID94565
KEGG Compound IDC06710
BioCyc IDNot Available
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkSilver
METLIN IDNot Available
PubChem Compound104755
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI ID49468
Food Biomarker OntologyNot Available
VMH IDNot Available
Synthesis ReferenceNot Available
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. Lansdown AB: Critical observations on the neurotoxicity of silver. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2007 Mar;37(3):237-50. [PubMed:17453933 ]