EDTA stands for Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid. It is a chemical known by many names and widely used for medical and industrial purposes. This chemical was first synthesized in 1935 by Ferdinand Munz. It is a colorless, water-soluble solid, with ethylenediaminetetraacetate as its conjugate base.
Average Mass: 292.24272
Monoisotopic Mass: 09067
It is a widely used chelating agent in food, household products and as a medicine in chelation therapy.
It is a dry and white crystalline powder and a hexadentate ligand, therefore, it forms six bonds with a central metal ion.
Use in food: The USFDA has approved EDTA for use as an additive in various processed foods. It helps in retaining color in canned foods like mushrooms, white potatoes, shrimp, clams etc.
It is also used as a preservative in salads, mayonnaise, etc., as it binds with enzymes that cause food spoilage. It also helps in retaining the taste of canned soda, pickled cucumbers, pickled cabbage etc.
Medicinal uses of EDTA:
It is used as a prescription medicine. It can be injected into a vein or a muscle. Some of the medicinal uses of EDTA are mentioned below:
It is used to prevent clotting of blood samples and to remove lead and calcium from the body. Therefore, it is widely used as an anticoagulant in blood banks.
It is also used to prevent bacteria from forming a biofilm, which is a thin layer that sticks to a surface.
It is used in root canal therapy prior to the application of dental adhesives.
It is also present in some eye drops as it helps to remove calcium deposits from the eyes.
It is used to treat lead poisoning and brain damage due to lead poisoning.
It is used to treat irregular heartbeat caused by exposure to chemicals and to treat chest pain, high blood pressure, blood circulation issues, and more.
It is also used as an ointment for dermatological problems such as skin irritations caused by metals such as nickel, copper and chromium.
Side effects: A patient may experience any of the following side effects after taking EDTA.
red skin rash, blisters, peeling
Nausea, vomiting, headache and diarrhea
Pain, swelling, and redness in the area where the injection is given
You may feel dizzy if you get up too fast after having an EDTA injection.
A person may need to lie down for a while after having an EDTA injection because there may be a drop in blood pressure for a short time.
Household products and cosmetic uses
It is also widely used as an additive to soap. It can mix calcium and magnesium in hard water and thus improve the cleaning action of soap. In addition to soap, it is also used in cosmetics, mouthwash, and other general topical preparations for the skin.