Disodium edta side effects

Calcium Disodium Versenate

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 6/1/2016

Calcium Disodium Versenate (edetate calcium disodium) Injection is a chelating agent used to treat lead poisoning. Common side effects of Calcium Disodium Versenate include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • tired feeling
  • muscle or
  • joint pain
  • numbness or tingly feeling
  • tremors
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sneezing
  • watery eyes
  • mild skin rash
  • headache, or
  • pain where the medicine was injected

Calcium Disodium Versenate is administered intravenously and a physician determines the dosage. Calcium Disodium Versenate may interact with insulin zinc, or steroids. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Calcium Disodium Versenate is not expected to be harmful to a fetus. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before receiving this medication. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Calcium Disodium Versenate (edetate calcium disodium) Injection Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA is an ingredient used in shampoos, moisturizers, cleansers, and other personal care products as a chelating agent to improve product stability.


EDTA stands for ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, which is also referred to as edetic acid. This compound was first synthesized in 1935 by Ferdinand Münz from the combination of ethylenediamine and chloroacetic acid. Today, EDTA is primarily synthesized from ethylenediamine, formaldehyde, and sodium cyanide. EDTA is produced as several salts, notably disodium EDTA and calcium disodium EDTA. It exists as a colorless, water-soluble solid.

EDTA and its salts were initially developed for specific industrial use, such as the prevention of calcium in hard water from causing staining or other problems in textile printing. During the Second World War, research was carried out on sodium salts of EDTA in order to determine whether these would be useful as an antidote to poison gas. Research established that EDTA contained a highly effective antidote to heavy metal toxicity (lead poisoning, for example), since it chelated just as well with lead as it did with calcium when it was infused into the bloodstream, and without any side effects.

The use of EDTA and its salts has since expanded to cosmetics, personal care products, medications, and even food. You can find disodium EDTA in almost every type of personal care product, including facial creams and lotions, sunscreens, anti-aging treatments, cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, hair dye, body wash, eye creams, and more.


One of the functions of disodium EDTA is as a chelating agent. The Personal Care Product Council’s online ingredient dictionary defines chelating agents as, “ingredients that complex with and inactivate metallic ions to prevent their adverse effects on the stability or appearance of cosmetic products.” Thus, disodium EDTA works by first binding to metal ions, such as Ca2+ and Fe3+, which subsequently inactivates them. After being bound by EDTA into a metal complex, metal ions remain in solution but exhibit diminished reactivity.

You may be wondering why we need to worry about binding metal ions in cosmetics. Well, it turns out that metallic impurities can come from many different sources. For instance, the ingredients themselves, especially those that are naturally derived, may have metallic impurities. Additionally, the water system or minute extractions from metallic equipment and storage containers may contain impurities. If not deactivated, these metallic ions can deteriorate cosmetic products by reducing clarity, compromising fragrance integrity and causing rancidity.

In cosmetics and personal care products, the binding of metal ions helps to prevent deterioration and protects the integrity of skin care products from undergoing unwanted consistency changes, pH changes, odor changes, or texture changes. Thus, disodium EDTA can be classified as a preservative. In addition, when binding with calcium, iron, or magnesium, disodium EDTA results in enhanced foaming and cleaning abilities.

Another function of disodium EDTA is to bind heavy metal ions and trace elements contained in tap water, which prevents these metals from being deposited onto the skin, hair, and scalp. While hard water is not harmful to your health overall, it can have a huge effect on your hair and skin. Hard water can lead to product build-up in hair, cause color-treated hair to wash out very quickly, and make hair more prone to breakage. Similarly, hard water makes it difficult to rinse away soap from the surface of your skin, leaving your skin dry and potentially irritated. Thus, disodium EDTA can help to counteract these adverse effects of hard water. This function of disodium EDTA makes it a particularly useful ingredient for rinse-off products that inherently require water to come into contact with the skin.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the safety of disodium EDTA and approved the use of this ingredient as a food preservative for direct addition to food.

The safety of disodium EDTA was assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. Based on the available data, the CIR Expert Panel found that these ingredients are safe as used in cosmetics and personal care products.

Clinical tests have shown that standard concentrations of the ingredient do not irritate, sensitize, or penetrate the skin. Despite these findings, disodium EDTA has been shown to enhance the dermal penetration of other ingredients contained in a product. Therefore, caution must be used if disodium EDTA is formulated with other ingredients that could be potentially harmful if absorbed by the skin.

References: Wikipedia, “Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid”, Healthy.net, “Chelation Therapy, The History of EDTA”, Cosmetics & Toiletries, “Deciphering Chelating Agent Formulas”, 2013, L’Oreal Paris, “Disodium EDTA”, Truth In Aging, “Disodium EDTA”, Culligan Water, “Effects of Hard Water on Hair and Skin”, Int J Toxicol. 2002;21 Suppl 2:95-142.

CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

The food additive calcium disodium edta (calcium disodium ethylene-diaminetetraacetate) may be safely used in designated foods for the purposes and in accordance with the conditions prescribed, as follows:

(a) The additive contains a minimum of 99 percent by weight of either the dihydrate C10H12O8N2CaNa2.2H2O or the trihydrate C10H12O8N2CaNa2.3H2O, or any mixture of the two.

(b) It is used or intended for use as follows:

(1) Alone, in the following foods at not to exceed the levels prescribed, calculated as the anhydrous compound:

Food Limitation (parts per million) Use
Cabbage, pickled 220 Promote color, flavor, and texture retention.
Canned carbonated soft drinks 33 Promote flavor retention.
Canned white potatoes 110 Promote color retention.
Clams (cooked canned) 340 Promote color retention.
Crabmeat (cooked canned) 275 Retard struvite formation; promote color retention.
Cucumbers pickled 220 Promote color, flavor, and texture retention.
Distilled alcoholic beverages 25 Promote stability of color, flavor, and/or product clarity.
Dressings, nonstandardized 75 Preservative.
Dried lima beans (cooked canned) 310 Promote color retention.
Egg product that is hard-cooked and consists, in a cylindrical shape, of egg white with an inner core of egg yolk 1200 Preservative.
Fermented malt beverages 25 Antigushing agent.
French dressing 75 Preservative.
Legumes (all cooked canned, other than dried lima beans, pink beans, and red beans) 365 Promote color retention.
Mayonnaise 75 Do.
Mushrooms (cooked canned) 200 Promote color retention.
Oleomargarine 75 Preservative.
Pecan pie filling 100 Promote color retention.
Pink beans (cooked canned) 165 Promote color retention.
Potato salad 100 Preservative.
Processed dry pinto beans 800 Promote color retention.
Red beans (cooked canned) 165 Promote color retention.
Salad dressing 75 Preservative.
Sandwich spread 100 Do.
Sauces 75 Do.
Shrimp (cooked canned) 250 Retard struvite formation; promote color retention.
Spice extractives in soluble carriers 60 Promote color and flavor retention.
Spreads, artificially colored and lemon-flavored or orange-flavored 100 Promote color retention.

1By weight of egg yolk portion.

(2) With disodium EDTA (disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate) in the following foods at not to exceed, in combination, the levels prescribed, calculated as anhydrous C10H12O8N2CaNa2:

Food Limitation (parts per million) Use
Dressings, nonstandardized 75 Preservative.
French dressing 75 Do.
Mayonnaise 75 Do.
Salad dressing 75 Do.
Sandwich spread 100 Do.
Sauces 75 Do.

(c) To assure safe use of the additive:

(1) The label and labeling of the additive container shall bear, in addition to the other information required by the Act, the name of the additive.

(2) The label or labeling of the additive container shall bear adequate use directions to provide a final food product that complies with the limitations provided in paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) In the standardized foods listed in paragraph (b) of this section, the additives are used only in compliance with the applicable standards of identity for such foods.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *