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EDTA, or ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid (try saying that five times fast), is a chemical that’s FDA-approved to treat lead poisoning and poisoning by radioactive materials. As a so-called chelating agent EDTA binds to heavy metals like lead and arsenic so they can’t hurt the body and can be eliminated instead. EDTA has also been used to treat a range of other health problems, including heart conditions, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), skin problems caused by hard water, and more. Combined with other ingredients, it’s also commonly found in personal care products and in food, especially cereal, where it’s used with iron to fortify grain.

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