What Is Colloidal Silver at Wal-Mart?

Colloidal silver, a mineral and ingredient in products available at Wal-Mart, is likely hazardous to ingest orally, apply to the skin or inject into the body, states WebMD. In 1999 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that colloidal silver products are unsafe and ineffective as nonprescription drugs.

As of 2015, the FDA has not approved any oral prescription or nonprescription drugs that have silver as an ingredient, notes WebMD. Vital organs including the brain, muscles, kidneys and skin absorb colloidal silver and can suffer serious damage. The mineral also causes argyria, a permanent bluish discoloration of the skin and gums, increases the skin's melanin production, and produces discoloration when exposed to sunlight. Colloidal silver does not perform a known function in the body, and is not one of the body's essential minerals. Nevertheless, some colloidal silver products are still available as dietary supplements and homeopathic cures.