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EDTA: the chelating agent under environmental scrutiny

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Author(s): Oviedo Claudia | Rodríguez Jaime

Journal: Química Nova
ISSN 0100-4042

Volume: 26;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 901;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: EDTA | environment | degradation

ABSTRACT
The chelating agent EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is a compound of massive use world wide with household and industrial applications, being one of the anthropogenic compounds with highest concentrations in inland European waters. In this review, the applications of EDTA and its behavior once it has been released into the environment are described. At a laboratory scale, degradation of EDTA has been achieved; however, in natural environments studies detect poor biodegradability. It is concluded that EDTA behaves as a persistent substance in the environment and that its contribution to heavy metals bioavailability and remobilization processes in the environment is a major concern.
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