In vitro intestinal toxicity of commercially available spray disinfectant products advertised to contain colloidal silver.Sci Total Environ. 2020 Aug 01; 728:138611.ST
The use of colloidal silver-containing products as dietary supplements, immune boosters and surface disinfectants has increased in recent years which has elevated the potential for human exposure to silver nanoparticles and ions. Product mislabeling and long-term use of these products may put consumers at risk for adverse health outcomes including argyria. This study assessed several physical and chemical characteristics of five commercial products as well as their cytotoxicity using a rat intestinal epithelial cell (IEC-6) model. Concentrations of silver were determined for both the soluble and particulate fractions of the products. Primary particle size distribution and elemental composition were determined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), respectively. Hydrodynamic diameters were measured using nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The effect of gastrointestinal (GI) simulation on the colloidal silver products was determined using two systems. First, physical and chemical changes of the silver nanoparticles in these products was assessed after exposure to Synthetic Stomach Fluid (SSF) resulting in particle agglomeration, and the appearance of AgCl on the surfaces and between particles. IEC-6 cells were exposed for 24 h to dilutions of the products and assessed for cell viability. The products were also treated with a three-stage simulated GI system (stomach and intestinal fluids) prior to exposure of the IEC-6 cells to the isolated silver nanoparticles. Cell viability was affected by each of the consumer products. Based on the silver nitrate and commercial silver nanoparticle dose response, the cytotoxicity for each of the colloidal silver products was attributed to the particulate silver, soluble silver or non‑silver matrix constituents.