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Argyria: clinical implications of exposure to silver nitrate and silver oxide.
Rosenman KD; Moss A; Kon S
J Occup Med 1979 Jun; 21(6):430-435
A physical examination, an opthalmological study, pulmonary function tests, chest x-rays for workers over 40, five questionnaires, and laboratory tests were performed on thirty employees from a small manufacturing facility in New York to determine the effects of exposure to silver-nitrate (7761888) and silver-oxide (1301968). Air sampling was done 4 months prior to examination. Silver-oxide concentrations were above the OSHA standard of 0.01 milligrams per cubic meter. Argyrosis was identified in 20 individuals, and 6 also had generalized argyria. Five of these six had been employed for more than 10 years. Abdominal pain was associated with the presence of silver in blood. Complaints of decreased night vision correlated with increased duration of employment and presence and degree of silver deposited in the cornea. The authors conclude that argyria was generally benign, but the permanent discoloration of the skin and eyes and effect on night vision were sufficient reasons to limit silver exposure. Monitoring of silver in air concentrations and periodic slit lamp examinations are suggested as helpful ways to assess the concentration of silver in the body.
JOCMA7; NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Dermatitis; Silver-poisoning; Metal-poisoning; Skin-disorders; Medical-examinations; X-ray-diagnosis; Clinical-tests; Air-sampling; Air-contaminants; Eye-disorders; Photography; Photographers
Vete Physio and Pharma Dept College of Veterinary Medicine University of Minnesota St Paul, Minn 55101
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational Medicine
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Page last reviewed: December 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division