A pot experiment was conducted to study the effects of EDTA and low molecular weight organic acids (LMWOA) on the pH, total organic carbon (TOC) and heavy metals in the soil solution in the rhizosphere of Brassica juncea grown in a paddy soil contaminated with Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd. The results show that EDTA and LMWOA have no effect on the soil solution pH. EDTA addition significantly increased the TOC concentrations in the soil solution. The TOC concentrations in treatments with EDTA were significantly higher than those in treatments with LMWOA. Adding 3 mmol kg(-1) EDTA to the soil markedly increased the total concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd in the soil solution. Compared to EDTA, LMWOA had a very small effect on the metal concentrations. Total concentrations in the soil solution followed the sequence: EDTA > citric acid (CA) approximately oxalic acid (OA) approximately malic acid (MA) for Cu and Pb; EDTA > MA > CA approximately OA for Zn; and EDTA > MA > CA > OA for Cd. The labile concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd showed similar trends to the total concentrations.