Home  >  News & Articles  >  EDTA Full Form: (Ethylenediamine Tetraacetic Acid), Definition, Uses, Acid or Base and Side Effects

Kasturi Talukdar

Updated on 05th June, 2024 , 7 min read

EDTA Full Form: (Ethylenediamine Tetraacetic Acid), Definition, Uses, Acid or Base and Side Effects

Edta Full Form

EDTA Full Form Overview

EDTA Full Form is Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid. EDTA is a popular chemical that is known by multiple names. It is comprehensively used in medicinal and industrial applications. Ferdinand Munz was the first to synthesize this chemical in 1935. It is a colorless, crystalline, slightly soluble organic molecule utilized in biology and inorganic chemistry. It is a chelating agent. It's also something with a claw-like structure that we use to grab and stick to other molecules. It is a metal ion-binding chemical that contains calcium, magnesium, lead, and iron. It is a polyprotic acid that chelates calcium and other metal ions. It is made up of four carboxylic acid groups and two amine groups with lone-pair electrons. In this article, we will look into the full form of EDTA, its structure, properties, applications, and significance in various fields.

EDTA Full Form in Medical: EDTA stands for Ethylenediamine Tetraacetic Acid. 

It is a synthetic compound that belongs to the class of polyamino carboxylic acids. EDTA is a chelating agent, which means it can bind with metal ions and form stable complexes.

EDTA Full Form Definition

EDTA, which stands for Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid, is a synthetic organic compound widely used for its chelating properties. It is a complex molecule with the ability to bind to metal ions and form stable complexes. The term "chelate" comes from the Greek word "chele," which means claw, and refers to the way EDTA's structure wraps around metal ions, resembling a claw-like grasp.

EDTA is a hexadentate ligand, meaning it has six sites in its molecule where it can form bonds with metal ions. These bonds are formed through coordination chemistry, where the electron pairs in EDTA's functional groups form bonds with the metal ions.

EDTA Full Form Acid or Base

EDTA is a weak acid. EDTA (ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid) has four carboxyl and two amine groups and can act as an electron donor or a Lewis base. EDTA is a hexadentate ligand because it can theoretically give six lone pairs of electrons to metal cations to create coordinate covalent connections.

EDTA Full Form Structure and Properties

EDTA has a complex molecular structure that contributes to its unique properties. Its chemical formula is C10H16N2O8, and it consists of four carboxylic acid groups and two amine groups, making it an octadentate ligand. The structure allows EDTA to form strong coordination complexes with metal ions through its lone pair electrons.

EDTA Full Form Key Properties 

  • Water Solubility: EDTA is highly water-soluble due to its ionic nature and multiple functional groups that can form hydrogen bonds with water molecules.
  • pH Sensitivity: The effectiveness of EDTA as a chelating agent depends on the pH of the solution. It exhibits higher metal-binding capacity under alkaline conditions.
  • Complex Stability: EDTA forms highly stable complexes with a wide range of metal ions, preventing these ions from participating in undesired reactions.

EDTA Full Form Uses of EDTA

EDTA, a prescribed pharmaceutical, finds its way into the body through intramuscular or intravenous routes. Consequently, several applications can be categorized for both intravenous and intramuscular uses:

EDTA Full Form Intravenous Uses

  1. Lead Poisoning Treatment: The intravenous use of EDTA is employed to address brain damage stemming from lead poisoning.
  2. Therapeutic Monitoring: Intravenous EDTA administration is also utilized to assess the effectiveness of suspected lead poisoning therapies.
  3. Copper Elimination: EDTA intravenous infusion aids in eliminating excessive copper accumulation in patients diagnosed with Wilson's disease.
  4. Calcium Level Regulation: EDTA is instrumental in lowering elevated calcium levels in individuals with hypercalcemia.
  5. Radioactive Toxin Neutralization: Intravenous EDTA serves to combat toxicity caused by radioactive substances like plutonium, thorium, strontium, and uranium.
  6. Vascular and Cardiac Disorders: The administration of EDTA intravenously is a strategy to manage blood vessel and heart conditions. This includes addressing irregular heartbeat caused by cardiac glycosides, hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke, angina, high blood cholesterol, and circulatory issues.
  7. Multiple Health Conditions: Intravenous EDTA treatments extend to addressing diverse health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, osteoarthritis, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and skin disorders including scleroderma and psoriasis.

EDTA Full Form Other Uses

  1. Skin Irritation Treatment: EDTA serves as a medical remedy for skin irritations induced by metals such as chromium, copper, and nickel.
  2. Ocular Health: Some eye drops incorporate EDTA to combat calcium accumulation in the eye.
  3. Food Enrichment: EDTA is utilized to enrich grain-based products like morning cereal, effectively binding to iron. It also functions as a food preservative, enhancing texture, color, and flavor.
  4. Industrial Applications: EDTA contributes to the structural integrity of various pharmaceuticals, liquid soaps, contact lens cleaners, detergents, shampoos, agricultural chemical sprays, and cosmetics during manufacturing processes.
  5. Laboratory Use: Specific blood collection tubes utilized in medical laboratories incorporate EDTA for its anticoagulant properties.
  6. Muscular Application: EDTA is introduced intramuscularly as a therapeutic approach for lead poisoning and its associated brain damage.

EDTA Full Form Side Effects

It is an artificially produced compound extensively utilized in the medical field both as an anticoagulant and a chelating agent. Similar to any pharmaceutical, EDTA has the potential to induce adverse reactions in certain individuals. The nature of EDTA's side effects can be influenced by factors such as dosage, frequency of administration, and the individual's overall health condition.

Several commonly encountered side effects associated with this chemical include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Hypotension (reduced blood pressure)
  • Hypocalcemia (lowered calcium levels in the bloodstream)

Furthermore, there are certain infrequent side effects linked to EDTA, encompassing:

  • Asthma
  • Hives
  • Kidney Impairment
  • Seizures (epileptic episodes)

It's important to note that the manifestation of these side effects can vary depending on individual responses to EDTA, making it crucial for medical practitioners to consider these factors while prescribing and administering the compound.

EDTA Full Form Synthesis

Ferdinand Münz] initially characterized the chemical in 1935, after preparing it from ethylenediamine and chloroacetic acid.[25] Today, EDTA is primarily made from ethylenediamine (1,2-diaminoethane), formaldehyde, and sodium cyanide.[26] This process produces tetrasodium EDTA, which is then transformed into the acid forms:

 H2NCH2CH2NH2 + 4 CH2O + 4 NaCN + 4 H2O → (NaO2CCH2)2NCH2CH2N(CH2CO2Na)2 + 4 NH3
(NaO2CCH2)2NCH2CH2N(CH2CO2Na)2 + 4 HCl → (HO2CCH2)2NCH2CH2N(CH2CO2H)2 + 4 NaCl

This technique is used to create around 80,000 tons of EDTA each year. Impurities produced by this technique include glycine and nitrilotriacetic acid, which result from reactions with the ammonia coproduct.

EDTA Full Form Nomenclature

Chemists distinguish between EDTA4−, the conjugate base that serves as the ligand, and H4EDTA, the precursor of the ligand. At low pH (acidic conditions), the fully protonated H6EDTA2+ form prevails, while at high pH (basic conditions), the fully deprotonated EDTA4− form is found. In this article, the term EDTA is used to mean H4−xEDTAx−, whereas in its complexes EDTA4− stands for the tetraanion ligand.


EDTA Full Form Concerns of Environment

1.Abiotic degradation: EDTA is so widely used that some have questioned whether it is a persistent organic pollution. While EDTA has many beneficial applications in various industries, pharmaceuticals, and other fields, its long-term use can cause major environmental problems. The breakdown of EDTA is gradual. It primarily grows abiotically in the presence of sunshine.


2.Biodegradation: In many industrial wastewater treatment plants, microbes can eliminate EDTA by up to 80%. The resulting byproducts are ED3A and iminodiacetic acid (IDA), indicating that both the backbone and acetyl groups were attacked. Some microbes have even been discovered to generate nitrates out of EDTA; however, they function optimally at moderately alkaline circumstances of pH 9.0-9.5.


EDTA Full Form Detection Methods

The most sensitive technology for detecting and quantifying EDTA in biological samples is selective reaction monitoring capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry (SRM-CE/MS), with a detection limit of 7.3 ng/mL in human plasma and a quantitation limit of 15 ng/mL. This approach is effective with sample quantities as tiny as 7-8 nL. HPLC was used to evaluate EDTA levels in non-alcoholic beverages at 2.0 μg/mL.

EDTA Full Form Diseases Caused

The possible diseases that can be caused by consuming EDTA are:

  1. Asthma: Breathing tubes in patients with asthma can be constricted by nebulizer solutions containing the preservative disodium EDTA. The extent of constriction is determined by the dosage administered.
  2. Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels in the blood): EDTA has an affinity for binding with magnesium, resulting in an increased excretion of magnesium through urine. This heightened excretion could potentially lead to dangerously low magnesium levels, especially among individuals already experiencing magnesium deficiency. If you are afflicted by this condition, it is advisable to avoid the usage of EDTA.
  3. Kidney issues: The kidneys are susceptible to harm from EDTA. Elevated doses of EDTA have the potential to induce severe kidney disease or even kidney failure. Therefore, it is imperative to exercise caution and reduce EDTA dosages in patients with kidney-related conditions.
  4. Seizures (epilepsy): Individuals with epilepsy or those prone to seizures might face an increased risk of seizures when exposed to EDTA. The compound's ability to diminish blood calcium levels can trigger seizure activity.
  5. Tuberculosis (TB): Tuberculosis, a bacterial lung infection, can result in the formation of enclosed infection pockets within the body. Although these infections remain dormant behind scar tissue walls, concerns have arisen that EDTA could potentially bind with calcium within the scar tissue. This binding might weaken the "walls," allowing bacteria to escape. Individuals with active tuberculosis or a history of tuberculosis are advised to abstain from using EDTA to mitigate potential risks.

EDTA Full Form Things to Remember

  1. Full Form: EDTA stands for Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid.
  2. Chemical Composition: EDTA is a synthetic compound with the chemical formula C10H16N2O8.
  3. Chelating Agent: EDTA is a chelating agent, which means it can bind with metal ions to form stable complexes.
  4. Structure: It contains four carboxyl groups and two amine groups, allowing it to behave as electron donors or Lewis bases.
  5. Coordination: Due to its structure, EDTA is a hexadentate ligand that can donate up to six pairs of electrons to metal cations to form coordinate covalent bonds.
  6. Uses: EDTA has a wide range of applications, including:
  • Medicine: Used for chelation therapy, treating heavy metal poisoning, and other medical purposes.
  • Food and Beverages: Used as a preservative to prevent oxidation and deterioration.
  • Industrial Applications: Employed in water treatment, detergents, and more.
  • Analytical Chemistry: Utilized in complexometric titration to measure metal ion concentrations.
  1. Properties:
  • Water Solubility: EDTA is highly soluble in water.
  • pH Sensitivity: Its chelating ability is influenced by the pH of the solution.
  • Complex Stability: EDTA forms stable complexes with metal ions.
  1. Significance in Research:  EDTA's ability to control metal concentrations is crucial in laboratory experiments, ensuring accurate results.

Was this Article Helpful/Relevant or did you get what you were looking for ?


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the full form of EDTA?

The full form of EDTA is Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid.

What is EDTA used for in medicine?

EDTA is used in medicine for chelation therapy, treating heavy metal poisoning, and as an anticoagulant in blood collection tubes.

What are the properties of EDTA?

EDTA is water-soluble, pH-sensitive, and can form stable complexes with metal ions, making it useful in various applications.

How does EDTA work as a chelating agent?

EDTA's structure allows it to bind with metal ions by forming coordinate covalent bonds, leading to stable complexes.

What are the side effects of EDTA?

Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness. Rare side effects include asthma, hives, kidney damage, and seizures.

What is the role of EDTA in food preservation?

EDTA is used as a preservative to prevent oxidation and color deterioration in food and beverages.

How does EDTA impact analytical chemistry?

EDTA is essential in complexometric titration, a method to determine metal ion concentrations accurately.

What is blood EDTA?

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) has been a popular anticoagulant since the early 1950s, and it offers several advantages over other anticoagulants. It prevents clotting by eliminating or chelating calcium from the bloodstream.

What is the full form of EDTA and formula?

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is the full form of EDTA. Formula is [CH2N(CH2CO2H)2]2.

Is EDTA safe for humans?

Some persons may experience an allergic reaction to EDTA. It can have manageable to non-manageable side effects.

Check Eligibility   Free 1:1 Counselling