Disodium EDTA


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Disodium EDTA

EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is a chelating agent, used to sequester and decrease the reactivity of metal ions that may be present in a product.

Function(s): Chelating Agent; Viscosity Controlling

Other names: (Ethylenedinitrilo) Tetra- Disodium Salt Acetic Acid; Acetic Acid, (Ethylenedinitrilo) Tetra-, Disodium Salt; Disodium Dihydrogen Ethylenediaminetetraacetate; Disodium Edetate; Disodium Ethylenediaminetetraacetate; Disodium N,N'-1,2-Ethanediylbis [N- (Carboxymethyl) Glycine] ; Disodium Salt Acetic Acid, (Ethylenedinitrilo) Tetra-; Edetate Disodium; Glycine, N,N 1,2Ethanediylbis [N (Carboxymethyl) , Disodiumsalt; N,N'-1,2-Ethanediylbis [N- (Carboxymethyl ) - Disodium Salt Glycine; N,N'-1,2-Ethanediylbis [N- (Carboxymethyl) Glycine] Disodium Salt

Source:  EWG

Source: EWG

Overall hazard:
Cancer concerns:
Developmental & reproductive toxicity: ○○○○○○○○○○○○ 
Allergies & immunotoxicity:
Use restrictions:


Natural or synthetic?


What Is It?

EDTA (ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid) and its salts, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Diammonium EDTA, Dipotassium EDTA, Disodium EDTA, TEA-EDTA, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tripotassium EDTA and Trisodium EDTA, and the related ingredients HEDTA (hydroxyethyl ethylenediamine triacetic acid) and its trisodium salt, Trisodium HEDTA, are crystalline powders often sold as aqueous solutions.

In cosmetics and personal care products, these ingredients are widely used and can be found in moisturizers, skin care and cleansing products, personal cleanliness products, bath soaps, shampoos and conditioners, hair dyes, hair bleaches, and many other product types.

Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?

Disodium EDTA and the related ingredients bind to metal ions which inactivates them. The binding of metal ions helps prevent the deterioration of cosmetics and personal care products. It also helps to maintain clarity, protect fragrance compounds, and prevent rancidity.

Safety Information:  

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the safety of Disodium EDTA and Calcium Disodium EDTA and approved the use of these ingredients as food preservatives for direct addition to food.

The safety of Disodium EDTA, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Diammonium EDTA, Dipotassium EDTA, EDTA, HEDTA, TEA-EDTA, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tripotassium EDTA and Trisodium HEDTA was assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel.

The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Disodium EDTA and related ingredients were safe as used in cosmetics and personal care products.

More safety Information: 

CIR Safety Review: EDTA and the related ingredients at the concentrations used in cosmetic and personal care products were not dermal irritants or sensitizers. Studies indicated that these ingredients were not carcinogens. Because these ingredients bind metals required for normal cell division, some studies that indicated that these compounds were weakly mutagenic. Some studies showed reproductive and developmental effects following oral exposure to large doses of metal chelators, likely an effect of the binding of metals required for normal reproduction and development.

The CIR Expert Panel reviewed data that indicated that EDTA and the related ingredients were not well absorbed through the skin. Therefore, dermal exposures to EDTA or HEDTA from the use of cosmetics and personal care products containing these ingredients would result in very little skin penetration and systemic levels well below those shown to produce adverse effects in oral studies. Because no data were available regarding the absorption of these ingredients following inhalation exposure, the CIR Panel expressed concern about EDTA in products that may be inhaled. They conducted an exposure assessment assuming 25% EDTA in a product. The calculated dose of EDTA via inhalation of an aerosolized product based on this assessment did not raise concerns about adverse effects of EDTA or its salts in cosmetics and personal care products that may be inhaled.

The CIR Expert Panel also recognized that EDTA, HEDTA and their salts are penetration enhancers. Therefore, formulators should be aware of this when combining these ingredients with those found to be safe primarily because they were not significantly absorbed. 

FDA: Code of Federal Regulations for Disodium EDTA

Calcium Disodium EDTA

EDTA and its salts, as well as HEDTA and Trisodium HEDTA may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

EU Cosmetic Regulation


DNoéma Editor