EDTA is short for ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid, a stabilizer used in cosmetics to prevent ingredients in a given formula from binding with trace elements (particularly minerals) that can be present in water. 

EDTA also keeps other ingredients from causing unwanted changes to a product’s texture, odor, and/or consistency. Ingredients that perform this function are known as chelating agents. 

Common examples of EDTA ingredients are disodium EDTA and tetrasodium EDTA.

See chelating agent

Reference for this information:
International Journal of Toxicology, 2002, pages 95-142

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