Breathing dirty air may lead to kidney failure

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Breathing dirty air may lead to kidney failure

Posted on : Thursday 28th of September 2017

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Air pollution may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease, which can lead to the failure of the organ, a study has warned. Outdoor air pollution has long been linked to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in the US now adds kidney disease to the list. Researchers evaluated the effects of air pollution and kidney disease on nearly 2.5 million people over a period of 8.5 years, beginning in 2004.

They compared data on kidney function to air-quality levels collected by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as Nasa. The findings suggest that 44,793 new cases of kidney disease and 2,438 cases of kidney failure may be attributed to levels of air pollution that exceed the EPA's threshold of 12 microgrammes per cubic metre of air, which is the highest level of air pollution considered safe for the public.

Airborne and invisible, microscopic pieces of dust, dirt, smoke, soot and liquid droplets often become destructive when they invade the bloodstream. The kidneys filter the blood, and these harmful particles can disrupt normal kidney function.

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