Intravenous EDTA is used to treat lead poisoning and brain damage caused by lead poisoning; to evaluate a patient's response to therapy for suspected lead poisoning; to treat poisonings by radioactive materials such as plutonium, thorium, uranium, and strontium; for removing copper in patients with Wilson's disease; and for treating high levels of calcium.
EDTA is also used intravenously for heart and blood vessel conditions including irregular heartbeat due to exposure to chemicals called cardiac glycosides, "hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis), chest pain (angina), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and blood circulation problems such as intermittent claudication and Raynaud's syndrome.
Other intravenous uses include treatment of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, an eye condition called macular degeneration, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and skin conditions including scleroderma and psoriasis.
EDTA is also used intramuscularly for lead poisoning and related brain damage.
EDTA is sometimes used as an ointment for skin irritations produced by metals such as chromium, nickel, and copper.
Eye drops containing EDTA are used to treat calcium deposits in the eye.
In foods, EDTA bound to iron is used to "fortify" grain-based products such as breakfast cereals and cereal bars. EDTA is also used in calcium and sodium compounds to preserve food; and to promote the color, texture, and flavor of food.
In manufacturing, EDTA is used in calcium and sodium compounds to improve stability in pharmaceutical products, detergents, liquid soaps, shampoos, agricultural chemical sprays, oil emulsion devices, contact lens cleaners and cosmetics. It is also used in certain blood collection tubes used by medical laboratories.
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