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Tinosan (Silver Citrate)

Today's Chemical:

Tinosan, aka Silverion 2400, aka, Silver Citrate

EWG Risk Score:


What is it?

Silver Citrate is a preservative that's marketed as a "natural" alternative. Silver works by breaking down the cell membrane of the bacterium and denaturing the enzymes within, thus killing the cell.  Silver citrate is a the salt of silver and citric acid, where silver exists in its ionic form.  Silver citrate in the presence of citric acid (which, when sold as this preservative it's a blend of citric acid and silver citrate) is soluble in water. (Source)

What are its risks:

Silver ions, as found in Silver Citrate are extremely potent anti-microbial agents.  The problem is that silver ions cannot distinguish between "good" cells and "bad" cells.

  • Dissolved ionic silver is the most biologically active form of silver, is highly toxic to all living cells and bioaccumulative.
  • Downstream it sticks to fish gills, keeping them from breathing. 
  • Contributes to antibiotic resistance.
  • Silver ions were found to accumulate of the brains and testes of the mammals (mice) studied.  



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Reader Comments (12)

Is this the same silver as collidial silver?? Also you use tea tree oil in some of your products, I have heard that tea tree oil, lavendar.
, and flax seeds are all estrogen mimicers. Is this true? What does your research ssshow?

Thu, August 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

So what about all the touted benefits of colloidal silver?

Sat, August 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScotty

I'm not a real big fan of colloidal silver as there can be silver toxicity that can happen as a result of excessive ingestion. It's a complex issue that I really should probably address as an article of its own.

Tue, August 27, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

Please do something on colloidal silver. I do use it topically, but am nervous to use it internally as it is a metal & I'm concerned about metal toxicity. It is so highly recommended in a bunch of mom & natural healing groups I'm in. Thanks. Love your stuff & always defer to this blog.

Tue, August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

Please do a post on Colloidal Silver. And is there any silver compound that harms the bad w/o touching the good?!

Wed, August 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScotty

@Lisa--Thanks for your questions. You can read more about lavender and tea tree here and more about the benefits of flax seeds here.

Wed, August 28, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

And so the relentless attack on silver continues, orchestrated by Big Pharma who'd rather you didn't know the benefits and safety concerning the use of Silver in place of expensive and very profitable Antibiotics.

As for the scare info contained in this 'hit piece', Silver does not contribute to antibiotic resistance - Antibiotics contribute to antibiotic resistance. Due to the way Silver kills bacteria and viruses, a resistance to silver is highly unlikely. Also, Silver is NOT toxic to 'all living cells'. In fact, Silver has been proved time-after-time to accelerate healing of damaged and infected tissue in humans and animal. The part about accumulative effects is also disinformation. Only certain salts of silver have been proved to accumulate in the body, and only if consumed in excessively large amounts. Silver is dealt with very effectively by the body, and is excreted safely like many other ingested minerals and elements.

chalk this article down to yet another and increasing attempts by Big Pharma to spread disinformation to protect their hold on lucrative antibiotic profits.

Mon, April 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHarry Tuttle

As a microbiologist, some of the information regarding silver is not completely correct. Silver ions will react with other chemicals before processed sewage is released into a river, so will not cause problems to fish. Additionally, metal ions will not contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria as they target different proteins/genes.

Fri, May 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJon

Question... I have a very old prescription bottle (atleast 100 years old) and has a label and contents the label reads Citrate of Silver... there is some left in this bottle. Is this a really bad thing to keep around the house? No one in my family is going to accidentally ingest it as its part of my medicine bottle collection. But if the contents IS dangerous then I will get rid of it.

Tue, March 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTodd Hansell

@Todd--Pretty cool! No, this isn't something that you'd need to be concerned about if it's contained within the bottle.

Mon, March 23, 2015 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

I've been interested in trying this product for my eczema. Should I be worried about the silver citrate in it?

Sat, February 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCameron

The Harry Tuttle post is correct. Here's a quote about Tinosan: ==It has no known adverse effects on human health and is classified as 'not hazardous' under OSHA regulations.== ... The studies cited, in Today's Chemical, are about silver metal particles, colloidal silver, and even then only nano-particles, which are unavailable, high tech material. The study is about any nano-particles in general. ... Tinosan is ionic silver, a charged ion, not silver metal. It can't clog up fish's gills, or such physical things.

Wed, January 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBob Teeter

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