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makemineirish

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I have been reading the posts on EDTA for a while and am a bit torn. Respected soapers on the site love it and now use this chelator in every single batch. That being said, I know that many of us make personal care products explicitly for the purpose of ingredient control. It is certainly one of my chief concerns (even while admitting that I am in it more for the consumable artistic expression).

While not exactly an article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, this link is the first to pop up in a google search for "EDTA in natural soap". The title, Ingredient Watch List: Tetrasodium EDTA, the Preservative Made from Formaldehyde," clearly denotes their position even while the content acknowledges that, "The Cosmetic Safety Database rates the hazard of the ingredient at a low “2,” with a low overall health hazard, and EDTA has not been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals." My experience is that most people do not fact-check beyond an internet query and that the top few results will be the only viewpoints considered.

I am not one of those people that insists everything be "all-natural" or feels that "chemical" is a dirty word. Everything is chemistry. Natural compounds are capable of harm and synthetic options can be superior choices. The inverse is also true, requiring individual ingredients to be judged on their own merits.

This brings me to two points:
1) Do any of you have concerns regarding EDTA or well-reasoned arguments not to?
2) Even if you feel that negative statements made about the compound are simply ill-informed fear mongering...is it worth including an ingredient that has a potentially negative connotation with your customer?

I am sorry to inflict my random musings on the forum, but had not found a thread that addressed any pro/con aspect of this ingredient and was intensely curious.
 
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dosco

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... for me, sodium citrate is a great chelator that I can make myself.
+1, although I have yet to try it. It's on my list ... maybe the next batch of shave soap ...

The title, Ingredient Watch List: Tetrasodium EDTA, the Preservative Made from Formaldehyde," clearly denotes their position even while the content acknowledges that, "The Cosmetic Safety Database rates the hazard of the ingredient at a low “2”
I just read the entry on wikipedia. To really scare people, the article should say "the food and drink preservative made from cyanide" (!!!).

-Dave

EDIT: Thanks EG, for merging the posts. Too much stream-of-consiousness ... sorry about that.
 
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TeresaT

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I'm going to add my (probably unhelpful) two cents to the mix. When I started making soap, I was doing it because of a skin condition and wanted to make as pure a product as possible. I wasn't going to use fragrances or colorants, natural or fake. Well, I use both now and my soap is still a heck of a lot better than the stuff from the stores. My skin has improved tremendously, and for the first time in ages, I did not have to slather on the lotion and body butter this winter. That was nothing short of a miracle.

I started using citric acid as a chelator because I could get it at Ace hardware in the canning section. Then I bought sodium citrate and didn't have to add extra NaOH to my recipe. Both of these have greatly reduced the amount of soap scum in my sinks and showers; however, the bubbles just aren't there. I like a creamy lather, so it's not a big deal for me. However, most people want bubbles, and lots of them. I tried EDTA because TopofMurrayHill was nice enough to send some to me; it made a huge difference in the bubbles. While I was doing the zap tests on those new soaps, the increase in bubbles was evident.

I received a few soap samples from snappyllama and tested one bar in the shower. Kathy uses EDTA in her soap. I decided to check the soap scum factor and started with a sparkling clean shower and used her soap exclusively for two weeks. There was no soap scum build up around the drain (which is a bad build-up spot in my tub) and my skin actually felt like it rinsed better. One of the other things I noticed about Kathy's EDTA soap compared to my sodium citrate soap is the bubbles lasted much longer. I didn't have to "reload" my wash cloth halfway through a shower. In fact, I was able to shower head to toe and shave my legs 'n' pits all on one soapy load of the cloth. (Uh, is that TMI?)
I will be purchasing EDTA once all of my sodium citrate and citric acid are used up. I'm actually thinking of increasing the usage rates of them from my normal 2% (citric acid) and 2.6% (sodium citrate) to something like 5% CA and 6.5% SC. (That's the 5% rate equivalent for the SC since SC is 1.3% to CA's 1% ppo). I average 20 grams CA or 26 grams SC per batch right now. I could go to 5 grams of EDTA eventually which should be more cost effective. (I don't know how much EDTA is, I haven't looked for it.)

IMO, anyone that does research and only relies on the word of one unknown source is an idiot. If you read a review of something, you are only reading one person's opinion of that item. To get a full and accurate assessment of an item, you have to read a lot of reviews of the product or try it out yourself. Sometimes, you've got to do both.

I suggest you pull the information from WebMd, the MayoClinic and other reputable sites, as well as the MSDS sheet, for tetrasodium EDTA and review them for yourself. Then put together a data sheet (with citations) for your customers to give them the real information on the product. It is up to you to educate your customer base and destroy the myths and misinformation out there.

You are going to have people that refuse to believe you because "they read it on the 'net." That's fine. You can't fix stupid. You can only pat them on the shoulder, say, "Bless your heart," and move on to the next person, knowing you tried. (You can always pray they don't breed little stupids, but they always do.)
 

DeeAnna

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^^^^^ What Teresa so eloquently said.

Thanks for sharing your perspective about citrate vs. EDTA. Some of us (me) have only used EDTA and others have only used citrate. There are not a lot of soapers with that cross-over experience, so I appreciate your explanation of the differences. Good stuff.

"...I was able to shower head to toe and shave my legs 'n' pits all on one soapy load of the cloth. (Uh, is that TMI?)..."

Is that TMI, you ask? ........ No, that's Teresa! :)
Love your sense of humor, girl!
 

dosco

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I started using citric acid as a chelator because I could get it at Ace hardware in the canning section.

I tried EDTA because TopofMurrayHill was nice enough to send some to me; it made a huge difference in the bubbles.
That's interesting. Maybe I'll skip the citric and go straight to EDTA.

Thanks for sharing!

-Dave
 

TeresaT

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Has anyone found anything that states EDTA is absorbed through the skin? I haven't.

Nope. But I found this most interesting article. If it's good enough to use for THIS, it's good enough to use enhance the bubbles to clean my bum.

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/ethylenediaminetetraacetic-acid

I don't think the doctors are worried about skin absorption when they're sticking this stuff directly into the bloodstream via IV. And I'm sure it's much higher rates than the 0.5% total batch weight we are using. I used 7 grams for my 1000 gm oils. The batch weight was a little less than 1500 gm.

The OP can add this to their list of stuff to show the freaked out customers.
 

makemineirish

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Nope. But I found this most interesting article. If it's good enough to use for THIS, it's good enough to use enhance the bubbles to clean my bum.

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/ethylenediaminetetraacetic-acid
Thanks! I had not found that article yet, but feel compelled to mention that even the EWG finds EDTA of little concern:

https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706510/TETRASODIUM_EDTA/

The OP can add this to their list of stuff to show the freaked out customers.
It is worth mentioning that I do not sell. However, I like to play with soap and off-load quite a bit as Christmas gifts. A number of the recipients are pretty "crunchy". I intend to be prepared to allay their concerns...or omit the ingredient altogether. To that end, I wondered how much resistance those of you that do sell had encountered.
 

TeresaT

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Thanks! I had not found that article yet...


It is worth mentioning that I do not sell. However, I like to play with soap and off-load quite a bit as Christmas gifts. A number of the recipients are pretty "crunchy". I intend to be prepared to allay their concerns...or omit the ingredient altogether. To that end, I wondered how much resistance those of you that do sell had encountered.
That's a cool article. That should alleviate any fears.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I thought you were selling. But, if you ever decide to go in that direction, you're going to be ahead of the game.

I think it's interesting that two soap additives are used for poison control. Activated charcoal is used when someone consumes something toxic as a binding (or maybe an absorbing?) agent. And now we find out edta is used for lead and other metal poisoning in humans. Soon we'll discover lard is actually a super food with tons of health benefits. (I can hope.)
 

snappyllama

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As Teresa mentioned, I use EDTA in every batch. Teresa, I'm so happy you liked the results!! :D

EDTA just made a world of difference in my soaps. I have one crunchy friend that didn't bat an eye at it. Really, getting folks past the whole "lye is scary" thing was a lot harder. Once they try handmade soap though, they never go back.

Digression: I did have a phone call about some soap with EDTA and Rosemary EO that I included a warning about pregnancy and such. The rosemary was actually sent from him to make a soap, but then he got worried when he saw the note. He saw EDTA on the ingredients list but didn't give a hoot about that. It was nice to find out that a friend is trying to have a kid! I told him practice makes perfect...
 

lenarenee

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Nope. But I found this most interesting article. If it's good enough to use for THIS, it's good enough to use enhance the bubbles to clean my bum.

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/ethylenediaminetetraacetic-acid

I don't think the doctors are worried about skin absorption when they're sticking this stuff directly into the bloodstream via IV. And I'm sure it's much higher rates than the 0.5% total batch weight we are using. I used 7 grams for my 1000 gm oils. The batch weight was a little less than 1500 gm.

The OP can add this to their list of stuff to show the freaked out customers.
Thanks for that Teresa. I've been considering adding EDTA. I've been using sodium citrate, but wondering if EDTA works better. Most of my soaps are lard, which makes quite a bit of scum. However, I can't test the results of sodium citrate on scum here at home since we have a water softener. Most of the people I give soap to have very hard water and with them being "nonsoapers"....I can't get any helpful feedback about levels of scum residue and quantity of bubblage. I'm living vicariously through your experience!
 

makemineirish

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I didn't have to "reload" my wash cloth halfway through a shower. In fact, I was able to shower head to toe and shave my legs 'n' pits all on one soapy load of the cloth. (Uh, is that TMI?)
In case it is not yet apparent by the OCD nature of my posts, there is no such thing as TMI to me:) I live under the banner that all information is useful, even if just for the entertaining story it turns into later. My own lack of hang-ups aside, the longevity of lather and increased performance is entirely germane and appreciated. I have been reading scientific articles and am not all that concerned about EDTA as an ingredient, particularly in a wash off application. However, I was curious whether those of you at the mercy of the public perception had issues including it on the label.

I am consistently surprised by the number of people that accept any random information as incontrovertible. I continually interact with those who avoid gluten despite their inability to define it. Last week, I had a mother in the park excuse her toddler's behavior with the explanation that boys that age "have more testosterone than a grown man" (not scientifically factual). Yesterday, I met someone for a Craigslist purchase of a milk frother (don't ask). She engaged me in conversation about her new dedication to health and quizzed me over my life choices. By the end of the brief conversation, she was ready to employ me as her life coach and off to the store to buy my favorite food items. I attempt to be well-informed, but she does not know that. I was just a stranger in the parking lot of Pier One who may or may not have been a serial killer whose criteria she failed to meet.

I am not trying to be condescending or dismissive. I meet amazingly intelligent and thoughtful people as well. They just get overshadowed by the couple who responded to my request not to dangle their 5.5 month old infant in front of my over-zealous foster dog...by trying to set her on the roof of their Toyota Corolla. Maybe those people don't read labels, but as someone who is occasionally forced to debate whether it is possible to determine chicken sex by egg shape (you can't)...whether dogs are color-blind (they're not)...or the fact that Sydney is not in fact the capital of Australia (it's Canberra)...
I can only imagine the stories that some of you must accrue after a weekend craft fair.

That's probably TMI from me, and not at all pertinent. It has been a strange week and is past my bedtime. Thanks for weighing in:)http://www.soapmakingforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 
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topofmurrayhill

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I have been reading the posts on EDTA for a while and am a bit torn. Respected soapers on the site love it and now use this chelator in every single batch. That being said, I know that many of us make personal care products explicitly for the purpose of ingredient control. It is certainly one of my chief concerns (even while admitting that I am in it more for the consumable artistic expression).

While not exactly an article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, this link is the first to pop up in a google search for "EDTA in natural soap". The title, Ingredient Watch List: Tetrasodium EDTA, the Preservative Made from Formaldehyde," clearly denotes their position even while the content acknowledges that, "The Cosmetic Safety Database rates the hazard of the ingredient at a low “2,” with a low overall health hazard, and EDTA has not been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals." My experience is that most people do not fact-check beyond an internet query and that the top few results will be the only viewpoints considered.

I am not one of those people that insists everything be "all-natural" or feels that "chemical" is a dirty word. Everything is chemistry. Natural compounds are capable of harm and synthetic options can be superior choices. The inverse is also true, requiring individual ingredients to be judged on their own merits.

This brings me to two points:
1) Do any of you have concerns regarding EDTA or well-reasoned arguments not to?
2) Even if you feel that negative statements made about the compound are simply ill-informed fear mongering...is it worth including an ingredient that has a potentially negative connotation with your customer?

I am sorry to inflict my random musings on the forum, but had not found a thread that addressed any pro/con aspect of this ingredient and was intensely curious.
There is a great amount of information available about the toxicology of EDTA.

That isn't necessarily relevant. Not everyone is interested in trying to understand this information firsthand. Secondhand makes all the difference, because you can be and often are given information that leads you believe what someone wants you to believe, or what you are inclined to believe.

Groups of people participate in belief systems, exchanging amongst themselves and with others whatever information or misinformation they are into. If you try to given them any conflicting information or interpretations, you are either mistaken or there is a conspiracy by industry to conceal the truth.

So when it comes down to it, a big part of the issue is just about knowing the people you are selling to, or want to sell to. That's something you have to judge for yourself.

Here is a very general outline of the facts.

Based on various animal studies, in human terms if you ordered an 8 oz package of Tetrasodium EDTA from Lotioncrafter and managed to eat it, you could be in trouble. At least you'll get very sick and that much could conceivable kill you. We don't know exactly, but even if it takes some fraction of that to kill a human it will still be a crapload of EDTA.

Chronic toxicity is about how much will make you sick in some way over time. The lowest amount that showed toxicity in rats was 750 mg/kg/day or about 50 grams in human terms, day after day.

Based on current industry standards, the maximum amount of EDTA you should use is 0.5% by product weight. For a 3.5 oz cured bar of soap, that's at most half a gram. With the amount you need as a stabilizer to prevent DOS, it's a tenth of a gram. If you eat a bar or soap with EDTA every day, you will have problems but not because of EDTA.

Except you are not eating a bar a day but briefly washing with a bar over many days. And the rate of EDTA absorption through the skin? ZERO. It's been tested. So at worst, there is a chance of skin irritation from people unusually sensitive to EDTA if it's used in somewhat middling to higher amounts in a product that stays on your skin for a period of time.

The risk from using soap with EDTA is zero, period, end of story.

There is more detailed information that I can't post publicly, but I'll share privately if you like.
 

Dahila

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Teresa lard is actually the only fat with the highest smoke point. The years of pushing info on use; animal fat is bad;;; here you have a lipitor , finally are shading off. Beside the statins docs prescribe have a lot of side effects; one of them it causes diabeties especially in woman. I think any misconception about lard or tallow will be gone. Internet especially Evil FB does not good. There is a lot of wrong info people share it like crazy. I do not think they know what they are sharing. 99% of that articles are without any serious sources. EDTA have a bad opinion, even I had not known about using it in hospitals, Thank you Teresa:)
 

penelopejane

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I choose not to use EDTA in soap.

As far as I can see there are low toxicity concerns for tested laboratory animals, there are environmental concerns and there is this desire of mine to reduce unnecessary "stuff" I put on my skin, be it a wash off or a leave on product. I make my own soap so I can control what goes onto my skin.

Just the other day I had a pretty severe reaction to Spirulina I'd put in a soap - red, intensely itchy rash. I am probably more sensitive to "stuff" than others. It's my choice not to use EDTA.
 

Dahila

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We do not make people to use EDTA, I need to wait and see, but Edta is in almost every commercial lotion and cream ;))
 

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