Silver: Used for over 1200 years for its ability to kill bacteria.
- The Greeks used silver to keep water and other liquids fresh.
- The Roman Empire stocked wine in silver urns to avoid spoilage.
- During the Middle Ages, the wealthy used silver to help protect them from the plague.
- Pioneers trudging across the American West placed silver and copper coins in their water to help keep water safe from bacteria, algae, and diseases.
In the 1800’s, western scientists rejuvenated silver as a fierce, antibacterial agent. Through the years, medical silver developed and silver became universally used as a medicine. By 1940 roughly four-dozen different silver-based medicines were on the market being used to treat every known infectious disease.
Then, in 1938, the Food & Drug Administration was formed and Penicillin was introduced. Silver as a superior infection-fighting agent was replaced by synthetically manufactured drugs. The profits and the ease of production of this modern medicine quickly pushed more expensive silver into the background of contemporary medicine.
Some medical uses of silver luckily survived. Doctors use Dilute Silver Nitrate to protect newborn babies from infection. 70% of American burn wards use Silver Sulfadiazine to kill an infection. A silver based bandage has been approved by the FDA and licensed for sale. Silver water purification filters are used by many national and international airlines to avoid growth of algae and bacteria.
Copper: An important role in improving health
- Copper’s anti-virus properties guard against infections.
- Copper pipes are used in plumbing and can help preserve the purity of drinking water.
- Copper pipes prevent water-borne microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, algae, and infectious parasites that reside in your plumbing.
These microorganisms include:
- Legionnaire’s Disease
- E. coli
In fact, Escherichia coli O157 strain, a very lethal strain of the E. coli bacterium, dies after just a few hours on a copper surface, even under the worst conditions. However, the deadly bacterium can live for over a month on stainless steel, which is an extremely common surface in food processing.
- Copper surfaces in food preparation reduce the risk of microbial food poisoning.
- Hospitals and clinics use copper-based paint on walls and install copper doorknobs and fittings on doors to help prevent the spread of bacteria throughout the building
Ionization in Space
In the 1960’s, NASA scientists needed a way to supply pure drinking water for the crew on their long missions. Because chlorine was too toxic of a chemical to take into space, they had to develop an ionization system to recycle the water in the Apollo Lunar Landing Program. The aim was to provide clean drinking water for a three-man Apollo mission lasting up to two weeks.
Water wastes were recycled during shuttle flights, and silver’s first job was to treat hydrogen-saturated water coming from the Shuttle fuel cells.
By establishing 100 ppb of silver in the water, NASA eliminated the need for 1,000 to 1,500 ppb of chlorine to purify the water. NASA scientists reported silver to eliminate bacteria, including Pseudomonas A and Type IIIA bacteria. NASA’s new purification system doubled the production of pure water and even lowered the risk of corrosion.
The NASA Ionization Unit provides shuttle crews with 32 gallons of pure water daily for all uses inside and outside the shuttle. The new unit eliminated the need for mixing, metering, and testing water while in flight.
Russian scientists that worked on water recycling and purification problems for the Soviet spaceship and orbiting station program decided on silver as the best sanitizing agent. By researching the problems of water storage over periods of several months, as well as purification for immediate use, they determined that ionized silver provides the safest and longest lasting method of transforming polluted waste into drinkable water.
Not space travel but a little closer to home
Over half of the world’s airlines use silver water filters to defend waterborne diseases. This is also true in 1,000s passenger ships.
Soft drink, beer, liquor, wine and other beverages are drinkable due to silver in over 70 countries.