Silver occurs naturally in ground and surface water. This is how it also enters our drinking water in small quantities. Generally, a maximum guideline of 0.05 mg/L silver in drinking water applies. Every adult person has about 2 mg of silver in the body. Small quantities of silver in drinking water do not pose a threat to our health.
What is silver?
Silver is generally known as a material used in jewelry and objects such as candlesticks, bowls, and cutlery. These items are often not made of pure silver but are only silver plated. Only the outer edges are made of silver. This is because silver is very precious.
Silver is a good bendable metal with a white sheen. It is caused by precipitation from hot solutions that arise in the earth. Of all metals, it is the best conductor of heat and electricity. It occurs in free form in nature and is also found in minerals such as argent, stephanite, and acanthite. It is often found in ores of lead, copper, zinc, and gold. Silver is described in the periodic table with the symbol Ag and atomic number 47.
Silver has antibacterial properties, which is why it is sometimes used in, for example, refrigerators, water containers, or in the disinfection of wounds.
How does silver enter drinking water?
Silver is naturally present in our ground and surface water. Silver is found in minerals. Silver can enter the water from these minerals through weathering processes. Silver compounds can also be found in the soil, especially in the form of sulfide minerals. These can also end up in the groundwater through flushing or precipitation. Our drinking water is extracted from ground and surface water. Silver enters our drinking water from this source.
Silver is also widely used in our industry. For instance, it is widely used in electronics because of its high conductivity. In addition, silver compounds are an important part of photo paper and chemicals for photo development. In the past, silver was often used for making coins. Hence, in some languages, the words ‘silver’ and ‘money’ are the same, e.g., the French word ‘argent.’ Silver and its waste are released into the environment through the processing of silver in our industry. Subsequently, the environment releases silver particles into the groundwater, which is used for our drinking water.
What are the health effects of silver?
Metallic silver is not so harmful to health. Some silver compounds can be nasty when swallowed, for example, silver fluoride and silver nitrate. Ingestion of too much silver (compounds) can lead to:
- low blood pressure;
- breathing difficulties;
a lot of contact with silver can also cause gray to black spots on the skin. The concentration of silver in our tap water is generally safe. You don’t ingest too much silver just like that. A sign of relatively high silver content in drinking water can be a metallic, bitter aftertaste. If your water, coffee, or tea has an unpleasant taste, clean your drinking water with ZeroWater.
Does ZeroWater filter silver from tap water?
Yes, ZeroWater filters 96% silver from tap water. The Premium 5-stage Ionization Changer Filtration System removes more impurities than the standard 2-stage filters. During the test, ZeroWater had 150 liters of filtered water (double the prescribed use) tested by an independently certified external laboratory. The test results are based on the NSF/ANSI test protocol of flow-through equipment for contaminants listed under the national primary drinking water standards.