Disodium EDTA is commonly found in a wide range of personal care products, including contact solution, eye drops, shower and bath products, skin care preparations and cosmetics. It is also used as a preservative and stabilizer in many processed foods and beverages.
Medical and laboratory uses for disodium EDTA include chelating therapy, where EDTA cleanses bodies of excess iron, mercury and other heavy metals; in blood testing and blood transfusions as anticoagulant; in cell proliferation analysis to keep cells separate from each other; in dental and ophthalmology practices to prime sites for surgery. Disodium EDTA is an important agent in many medical uses and thus it isn’t surprising to expect exposure to this chemical compound if you frequent clinics and medical laboratories for tests and treatments listed such as these.
Other than products that come into direct human contact, disodium EDTA is also found in cleaning supplies, such as laundry detergent, as a water softener and detergent enhancer and in industrial supplies for the maintenance, cleaning and priming of equipment and machinery. Disodium EDTA is essential in the textiles and paper pulp industry in bleaching and maintaining colors and dyes.
Disodium EDTA has become a topic of interest because of many pro-natural organizations claims that it causes toxicity in mammals. However, in products regulated by the FDA, levels of disodium EDTA is too low to cause direct harm when products are used as directed. The only time to be ultra aware of disodium EDTA content is in processed foods and beverages, where disodium EDTA in reaction with active and unstable ingredients like Vitamin C and sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) forms benzenes, a potent carcinogen.
Disodium EDTA should always be listed in the ingredients disclaimer of products that come into direct contact with skin or for oral ingestion. Thought it does not need to be approved to be added to food, it may be listed in several ways, including EDTA, EDTA disodium, disodium; Disodium EDTA Violet 2, Disodium EDTE, and Disodiume EDTA.