Chelating agents are compounds that will render an ion (usually a metal) biologically inactive by incorporating it into an inner ring structure in the molecule. (Hence the name, from the Greek chele = claw.) When the complex formed in this way is harmless to the body and is excreted in the urine, such an agent is an eﬀective way of ridding the body of toxic metals such as mercury. The main chelating agents are DIMERCAPROL, PENICILLAMINE, desferrioxamine and sodium calciumedetate, used for example, in iron poisoning.
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